Wigan mum and grandma in night-time trek up Snowdon for diabetes charity

Sam Patterson and Tracey Wadsworth on their night-time trek
Sam Patterson and Tracey Wadsworth on their night-time trek

A caring mother and godmother set themselves a real challenge to raise money for a charity close to their hearts.


While climbing Wales’ highest peak is an accomplishment for many, Sam Patterson and Tracey Wadsworth decided to trek up Snowdon in the middle of the night.

Vinny Patterson with parents Mark and Sam

Vinny Patterson with parents Mark and Sam

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They chose the adventure as they wanted to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a charity which has provided support since Sam’s son Vinny, now 16, was diagnosed with type-one diabetes two years ago.

Sam, who lives in Ashton, said: “It was hard but it went okay. It was really cold. We reached the summit in about three hours 15 minutes, which apparently is quite good. It was quite hard coming back down.”

They set off at 11.10pm so had no natural light to help as they climbed the mountain.

Sam said: “It was unusual because all we could see was whatever our head-torch was lighting up.

“We did it with an organised group called Discovery Adventure so we had support with us and a medic. There were 36 people in total.”

The pair were joined on the walk by Rufus, a teddy bear given to Vinny by JDRF after his diagnosis.

They raised nearly £1,000 for the charity, which they hope will contribute to finding a cure for diabetes or ways to offer more support to people with the condition.

Sam said: “JDRF helped us quite a lot when Vinny was diagnosed. They provided us with lots of information and support.”

St John Rigby College student Vinny followed the progress of his mother and godmother from home.

Sam said: “I think Vinny was quite proud. He stayed at home with his brother and said he wasn’t going to bed until he knew we were at the top.”

She was able to check on Vinny as she stood at the summit of Snowdon, as he uses a device called the Dexcom G6 to monitor his blood sugar levels and updates are sent to her mobile phone.

Tracey, from Winstanley, and Sam also took part in a 13-mile walk along the River Thames the week before as part of their training and raised money for Diabetes UK.

While they have not yet chosen their next challenge, they hope to raise more money for charity in future.

Sam, 49, added: “I want to say a massive thank you to Tracey because without her pushing me to do the training, I wouldn’t have got there. She has been the push behind me.

“She kept saying when it gets hard, think of Vinny and what he does every day and that will get us up, and it made me keep going.”

The pair are still collecting donations for JDRF online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/samantha-patterson7 and www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tracey-wadsworth5