Bear Grylls gives Chief Scout’s Unsung Heroes Award to Mellis teenager
A Suffolk teenager that endured 100 successive nights camping has been recognised for her survivalist skills by none other than world-renowned adventurer Bear Grylls.
Last year, 15-year-old Phoebe Clark raised more than £1,000 for charity after sleeping in a tent in her back garden for 100 nights on the bounce.
In recognition of her fundraising efforts, Phoebe, who is a member of Eye Scouts Group, was given the ‘Chief Scout’s Unsung Heroes Award’ – which was presented to her by the Chief Scout himself, Bear Grylls, at a ceremony in Birmingham this month.
During Easter Weekend last year, Phoebe and her family took part in the Great British Campout – sleeping in their garden over one weekend to raise money for the NHS.
Whilst most people put their tents away at the end of the weekend, Phoebe decided to push on, first setting out to do 50 nights, and later carrying on through to 100.
“I’ve always been into camping,” said the Debenham High School student, who lives in The Common, in Mellis.
“I just thought, I like sleeping out in the tent, so why not just carry on doing it?
“As it was during lockdown, we couldn’t go away anywhere and I just wanted to go camping.”
Armed with just two blankets, a thick sleeping bag and some books in the tent with her, the teen spent daytime indoors before heading back into her tent every evening.
“It was hard at times,” she said. “At some points it was so cold I was going to sleep fully dressed.
“It was around the 80th night that my parents decided to set up the fundraiser, as it was getting quite tough and I needed some extra motivation to keep on going.”
As days turned to weeks, donations to her fundraising page began to rocket, ultimately raising more than £1,150 – blowing her initial £500 target out of the water.
On her decision to raise money for domestic abuse charity Refuge, Phoebe said: “On the radio at the time there was a lot of stuff about domestic abuse going up in homes, so I just wanted to try and help in any way I could.
On October 8, the teenager met with Grylls at the ceremony in Birmingham, who thanked her for her selfless efforts.
“It was so cool, the atmosphere there was amazing, and it was incredible meeting Bear Grylls.
“He told me what I did was amazing and that he was impressed.”
Juliet Grimes,Group Scout Leader of 1st Eye, added: “Phoebe is very modest about her contribution, and we are so thrilled that this has been recognised.”
If you would like to donate to Phoebe’s fundraiser, click here.