Menu Donate Request our help

Helpline: 0300 102 1919

Swindon couple take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in memory of their son

The parents of a young airman, who died very suddenly, are set to scale the three largest mountains in Yorkshire in memory of their son Simon.

Sue and Chris BeadelSue and Chris Beadel

Simon served in the Royal Air Force as a Physical Training Instructor, following in the footsteps of both his father, Chris, and Grandfather. But in 2009, whilst on Christmas leave from serving with the Peacekeeping Forces in Kosovo he died very suddenly.

Sue said: "Simon came home from Kosovo for New Year, and I remember him saying he had a sore throat and a bit of cough. Things weren't any better the next day, so we took him to see a doctor. And that was it really, he went from bad to worse very quickly, and three hours later he died. The official cause of death was pneumonia and sepsis."

Since Simon's death the couple, along with their friends and family, have undertaken a myriad of fundraising events in his memory.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks consists of a route of 24 miles, and includes 1,585m (5,200ft) of ascents, reaching the summits of Pen-y-Ghent (694m), Whernside (736m), and Ingleborough (723m); the three largest mountains in Yorkshire. The 30-strong team of supporters are set to complete the arduous mountain trek in less than 12 hours and are raising funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund, who this year celebrate their Centenary.

Sue and Chris BeadelChris and Sue Beadel with their son Simon


Sue continued: "No one expects to lose a child but when we did, the Fund were there for us, it felt as though they dropped everything to be there for us, so for us, we just wanted to give something back. Since Simon’s death my husband and I have held various fundraising events to raise money and awareness for the RAF Benevolent Fund. They are a charity very close to our hearts who were there for us during the most difficult time of our lives.

"Simon was involved in many crazy stunts when fundraising for charities, and we, as his parents, have picked up the baton to carry on the fundraising that he would have loved."

The group have already raised more than £2,000 in the lead up to the event, which will take place on Saturday 8 June. Combined of RAF personnel, friends, and family of Simon, the group hope to raise as many funds as possible to help continue the welfare services of the RAF Benevolent Fund supporting members of the RAF Family.

Heather Kemp, Regional Fundraiser at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "The RAF Benevolent Fund is at the heart of the RAF Family, we exist to support current and former members of the RAF, their partners and dependants, whenever they need us. The strength that Sue and Chris have shown has been truly inspiring. I cannot imagine what it must have felt like to lose their only son, yet they have shown such courage in the face of adversity.

“We are incredibly proud to have been able to help Sue and Chris in their hour of need and are very grateful that they now choose to support us."

To sponsor Sue and Chris Beadel, visit their Just Giving page. 

Listen to more of Sue and Chris Beadel's story: 


Sign up to receive the RAFBF e-newsletter