‘Hero’ Severn Trent dad raises £12k with Everest base camp trek for pupils with special needs

24th March 2024

A headteacher has labelled a kind-hearted dad a ‘hero’ after he raised £12,000 for pupils at a Bromsgrove school - with a gruelling 14-day sponsored trek to Everest Base Camp.  

Kevin Hatch had been part of the water company’s team called in to lay new mains in the Catshill area of the town in 2019, works which had left part of a road shut.

He visited nearby Chadsgrove School to explain the potential traffic issues and first met the incredible pupils with special educational needs and saw the wonderful work of dedicated staff.

The dad-of-four recalled: “There was an instant connection. The kids were so happy, and the teachers were all amazing and clearly loved their jobs.  I just left feeling I wanted to do something to help the school and its children.”

That visit was the beginning of a special relationship Kevin, 42, has developed with the school, which caters for children of all ages.  He organised for a Severn Trent Tiny Forest to be planted and helped improve the playground and school grounds, including putting down new Tarmac and slabs. All the materials and labour were sourced for free from generous local businesses and contractors.

His touching devotion has continued over the years and culminated in Kevin being given an official role at the school as an Enterprise Advisor, helping wherever he can to support the school – including raising much-needed funds.

Kevin, who leads a Network Response Team at Severn Trent, recently completed the daunting journey of walking to Everest Base Camp and back after flying halfway round the world to Nepal.

“Like most schools, funding is an issue, so I wanted to do something to help practically by raising as much money as possible,” he said.

“I knew a sponsored walk up a hill was never going to raise enough money, so I set my sights on reaching Everest Base Camp. It is more than 5,000m above sea level, so it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

“Some of the people in our group fell sick and had to give up. I had a wobble on one of the days as a I struggled to acclimatise. But I thought of those amazing children, the devoted teachers and all the people who had donated and it spurred me on. I knew I had to just grit my teeth and get on with it.”

On his return from Nepal, Kevin presented a cheque to the school and gave a talk about his trip to spellbound pupils and staff – which was quite emotional.

He said: “Listening to the children’s questions was fantastic, and it also brought back the great memories from the trip.

“If I can help enrich and enhance their time at the school, that’s what it is all about for me.”

Headteacher Deb Rattley expressed gratitude for Kevin’s continuous support, calling him a ‘hero’. She said: "Kev has become an integral part of our school community, and we are immensely grateful for his tireless efforts and remarkable contributions.

“His recent trek to Everest Base Camp not only showcases his adventurous spirit but also exemplifies his dedication to supporting our school's mission.

“We are truly fortunate to have him as a friend and advocate for our school.”

The school is now drawing up plans on how to spend the much-needed boost to its funds.

And Kevin, who has been working at Severn Trent for 14 years, says he will always be available to lend a hand, despite being a busy father of two children and a foster parent to two other children with wife Louise.

“Louise is super-proud of me, but she is the real superhero in my eyes with all that she does,” said Kevin.

“And all my colleagues and leaders at Severn Trent have been very supportive of myself and the school.”

And while Kevin may be a hero to the children of Chadsgrove School, he was quick to say they are HIS inspiration.

“If you are ever having a bad day, you only have to think about how happy these children are despite all the challenges they face,” he said.

“That is how you should try to be in life.”