Friends from Hitchin and Dunstable scale UK’s highest peak to raise hospice cash in Aimee’s memory

Steve and Pat scaled the Scottish peak to raise cash for the hospice where Aimee was cared for.

Steve and Pat scaled the Scottish peak to raise cash for the hospice where Aimee was cared for. - Credit: Archant

The father of a young nurse who died suddenly of epilepsy in 2013 has climbed Ben Nevis to raise cash for the hospice where she was cared for.

Steve and Pat at the summit of Ben Nevis.

Steve and Pat at the summit of Ben Nevis. - Credit: Archant

While others were tucking into their barbecues or going to festivals on the August bank holiday weekend, Aimee Varney’s father Steve strapped on his walking boots and – with his good friend Sgt Patrick Slaney, who is based at RAF Henlow – ascended the misty Scottish peak on Sunday.

Steve wrote beforehand: “Two reasonably dilapidated middle-aged men will be climbing up Ben Nevis. One with arthritic feet, asthma and a dodgy knee

and one who supports Milwall, who used to be ginger and has a joke for every single minute of every single day. Who knows how long it will take? Who knows whether Pat will survive Steve’s moaning about his aching joints? Who knows whether Steve will survive Pat’s constant stream of jokes from the notebook that Bob Monkhouse lost back in 1996? All that is certain is that they

will do their very best to reach the peak before nightfall in aid of their favourite charity.”

After completing the climb in 6½ hours, Pat from Hitchin told the Comet: “It was all going OK until we got to the top, as the clouds came in.

“The way down is quite rocky and I slipped and fell down about three times. Steve laughed, but then he did it as well!”

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The pair have already passed the £1,000 target on their JustGiving page for Aimee’s Fund – a charity set up to raise money for Keech Hospice Care.

Steve’s daughter Aimee was born in Luton and Dunstable Hospital on December 28, 1991. She grew up in Dunstable, attending first Hadrian Lower School before moving on to Mill Vale Middle and finally Queensbury Upper. She started her nurse training at the University of Bedfordshire in March 2010 and graduated in three months before she died.

Aimee was working as a staff nurse on Ward 22 at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital at the time of her death, and had also worked as a bank nurse at Keech Hospice.

She died six weeks before her wedding day to fiance Dan.

Donations for the Ben Nevis trek can be made by visiting and searching for Steve and Pat’s Highland Fling or Aimee’s Fund.

The family also raise money for research into sudden unexpected death in epilepsy through the SUDEP Action charity.

You can donate on Aimee’s memorial page at