A 12 year old Gwent boy has just started an ambitious 12 months of charity challenges to raise money for Children in Need.

Dante Valaydon-Pillay, of Raglan, was the winner of the Sir Terry Wogan Young Fundraiser of the Year Award 2022, and is hoping his year of challenges will help raise more money for the charity.

He became the first winner of the award after hiking up Sugarloaf, near Abergavenny, in April 2022 every day for five days and raising more than £1,500 for Children in Need.

He was inspired after his mother was struck by a series of strokes when he was only six years old.

During her three months in hospital, Dante was cared for by family and friends at home. When his mum returned home she needed 24-hour care, but again friends and family rallied around and provided the care and attention that they both needed.

As he has got a little older Dante has come to realise that he is one of the lucky ones.

He was a child in need but his needs were met by people close to him.

He knows that not all children are as fortunate and there are many children in need.

Because of his own experience, he decided to raise money for Children in Need as he wanted to make their lives just a little bit better.

His first of the 12 challenges was a 210ft climb and 90ft abseil down Clifton Gorge, Bristol.

South Wales Argus: Dante Valaydon-Pillay with instructor Kevin Roet during his Avon Gorge challenge. Dante Valaydon-Pillay with instructor Kevin Roet during his Avon Gorge challenge.

It was the first time Dante had rocked climbed outside. He has previously done several "clip and climbs" at indoor venues.

Kevin Roet, the instructor from Rise and Summit, was there to allay any fears and Dante set off confident and excited.

His climb too him one-and-a-half hours and after a short break he completed his abseil back to the base.

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.

“It was brilliant and 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 now has 11 more months of challenges, completing a new one every month.

They will range from singing the Welsh National Anthem at a sporting event to baking cakes for the elderly at Christmas, camping in a tent for a month to a 5k run and canoeing the Wye.

To donate go to the Just Giving page

He was invited into the Abergavenny branch and Kyle, 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 honoured Mountain Warehouse has sponsored me again. All of the staff are amazing and Kyle gave me brilliant advice on what kit I need to use for each of my outdoor activities. A big 'shout out' to them all!"

Dante said: “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.