The 12-year-old winner of the 2022 Sir Terry Wogan Young Fundraiser of the Year Award has just started his new 12 month charity challenges.

Dante Valaydon-Pillay, from Raglan, has started the first month of his 12 month long challenges to raise money for Children in Need. 

He became the first-ever winner of the Sir Terry Wogan Young Fundraiser of the Year award in 2022 after hiking up the Sugarloaf in April 2022 everyday for five days tasing more than £1,500 for the charity. 

The first of 12 challenges took place on Monday, October 23 when he completed a 210 foot climb and 90 foot abseil down the Clifton Gorge, Bristol. 

Dante Valaydon-Pillay, Young fundraiser of the Year
(Frances Valaydon-Pillay)

When Dante arrived at the venue he said: “It’s too high!” Luckily, Kevin Roet, the instructor from Rise and Summit was there to allay any fears and Dante set off confident and excited. 

It took him an hour and 30 minutes too reach the top of the rock face where he gave a wave to the spectators below. 

Dante said: “Leaning back over the edge was so scary because it was so high. Everything looked like dots below! I took a deep breath, listened to Kevin’s instructions and trusted the ropes. Then I started to enjoy it.” 

“I can’t believe I climbed all the way up there! I’m looking forward to the next 11 challenges now.” 

Kevin said, “He is an incredibly confident young man, and should be very proud of his achievement. Although I could see he was feeling slightly anxious at the start of the day, he stuck with it and achieved an incredible feat.”

Dante added: “My next challenge is a 5k run next month. I hope I can complete it!” He hopes that by doing his 12 month charity challenge he can again raise more money and make a difference to the lives of other children.”

The following 10 months will include diverse challenges from singing the Welsh National Anthem at a sporting event to baking cakes for the elderly at Christmas. 

Dante was inspired to raise money for Children in Need after seeing his mother face a series of strokes when he was only six years old.

After spending three months in hospital she returned home where she needed 24 hour care. 

Family and friends rallied around during this time and provided the care they both needed. 

As he got older, Dante realised he is one of the lucky ones. He said he is aware not all children are as fortunate as him to have friends and family caring for them.

Mountain Warehouse sponsored Dante in his previous fund-raising and have agreed to again this time. The owner, Mark Neale said: “We’d love to work with him again.”

Dante Valaydon-Pillay, Young fundraiser of the Year with his sponsor, Mountain Warehouse
Dante Valaydon-Pillay, Young fundraiser of the Year with his sponsor, Mountain Warehouse (Frances Valaydon-Pillay)

He was invited into the Abergavenny branch on Sunday, October 22 where the manager advised him on the best kit to use for his forthcoming challenges and presented him with various Mountain Warehouse items. 

Dante said, “I am so honoured that Mountain Warehouse has sponsored me again. All of the staff are amazing and Kyle, the manager, gave me brilliant advice on what kit I need to use for each of my outdoor activities. 

Mr Neale has been really kind to organise my sponsorship. A big ‘shout out’ to them all!” 

A JustGiving page is open and he has already received heaps of support. Including support from the world-famous French solo climber, Alain Roberts, known as “the French Spider-Man” who wrote: “So cool what you are doing by challenging yourself to raise money for charity. It is very meaningful.”

Go to to donate.