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Climbing book helps Sheffield hospital appeal scale heights

Rock climbing at Stanage Edge, Derbyshire. At four miles long, it has some of the best climbing in the Peak District and is only 15 minutes from Sheffield.
Rock climbing at Stanage Edge, Derbyshire. At four miles long, it has some of the best climbing in the Peak District and is only 15 minutes from Sheffield.

When Phil Kelly and Graham Hoey decided to complete a book chronicling the history of Peak District climbing, it was a project with a special meaning right from the start.

The coffee table tome, called Peak Rock, was begun in the 1980s by climber Giles Barker, who later died in a caving accident, leaving the book unpublished.

Phil Kelly donates royalties from his book to The Children's Hospital Charity

Phil Kelly donates royalties from his book to The Children's Hospital Charity

But Phil and Giles’ family agreed to complete it and bring it up to date - and since the book was released, it has gone on to sell 2,000 copies of its second edition.

Now the authors have gone on to do a further good deed by donating 50 per cent of the work’s royalties to the £10 million appeal to help redevelop Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Phil’s step-daughter, Abbi, is treated at the hospital for the spinal condition scoliosis.

Last year, Abbi spent 14 nights on the hospital’s S3 ward following extensive spinal surgery, where her mother and grandmother took it in turns to be with the youngster every night.

Phil, from Greenhill, said: “I consider ourselves to be incredibly lucky to live here in Sheffield where we have such an amazing hospital on our doorstep. Saying thank you will never be enough for all the doctors and nurses have done for Abbi.”

Kate Kelly, Abbi’s mother, said: “The first night was awful because Abbi would not settle and it took over 24 hours for them to get her pain under control. But Abbi’s care was second to none. What struck me in particular was the length of the shifts those nurses work. Nothing was a trouble to any of them.”

The book’s royalties will go towards the Children’s Hospital Charity’s Make It Better appeal, which aims to transform the facilities offered to children and their parents. Improvements will include private rooms with ensuite bathrooms, and proper beds for parents.

Kate added: “A proper bed to sleep in would be great. The need for a decent night’s sleep is always crucial when, as a parent, you are supporting a sick child. With a severely disabled child, having a single occupancy room would afford her the privacy you don’t get on a ward.”

For the book, Phil and Giles interviewed some of the region’s top climbers past and present, who shared their stories of pioneering and daring exploits.

n Peak Rock is available to buy direct from the publishers by visiting www.v-publishing.co.uk, or through Amazon.