AN eight-year-old is on the top of the world after becoming the youngest UK child to have successfully tackled a 4,000 metre mountain climb.

Sam Ford, along with his parents, Martin and Helen, have conquered Mount Toubkal in Morocco in aid of St Helena Hospice.

Sam took on the challenge in memory of his grandad, John Walker, who was cared for by the hospice.

The trio, from Colchester, started the challenge on April 11, trekking over five days to acclimatise to the altitude, before reaching the summit at 4,167m on day six.

They reached the summit after a nine-hour trek, which was made even more difficult with winds of up to 70mph.

Martin said it was a “life-changing experience”.

Sam added: “I’m really proud of my achievement and would like to do it again.

“It got a bit tough when I got above the snow line and had to take my crampons off my shoes for a short while to get over a rocky section.

“That was tough and a little scary.”

Martin has submitted an application for Sam to be awarded a Guinness World Record as the youngest child in the UK to reach the summit. He is also only the fourth child aged under 11 to scale such heights.

He decided he wanted to climb a mountain after his dad told him he would climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in October.

Sam’s grandmother gave him one of his grandad’s watches before the trek and he took that with him up the mountain.

He has raised almost £2,000 so far for the hospice.

Speaking of the hospice’s work, Sam said: “My grandad had cancer and tried really hard to get well but he couldn’t. In October last year he went into St Helena for end of life care.

“They looked after him so well but looked after me too and my family because we all felt sad.

“I wanted to say thank you to the hospice by raising funds for them so they can help more people like my grandad.

“The hospice is an amazing place and needs our support to keep delivering its outstanding care and support services.

“I know my Grandad will be proud of me.”

Ultimate Ninja in Colchester also sponsored Sam on his trek.

Sarah Philips, St Helena’s challenges fundraiser, said: “We are extremely proud and grateful to Sam and his family for supporting St Helena and taking on this gruelling challenge to raise money so we can care for more people like Sam’s grandad and family, facing an incurable illness and bereavement.

“Reaching the summit is an incredible achievement for anyone of any age, let alone for an eight-year-old, so I want to say thank you and well done to Sam from everyone at St Helena.

“All of us hope he is awarded the world record and is recognised for his triumph.”

To sponsor Sam, visit