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Bereaved military family take on Marvel-ous mountain climb for Armed Forces children


Lots of people say mountain climbing makes them feel like a superhero, so why not look the part, too?

On the 18th of May, the Yorkshire Marvels - made up of Maverick Davies and Wayne Self, along with their friends Wayne Forst, Glen Jarman and John Sherry - are scaling Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK, while dressed as cinema’s most famous superheroes. And they’re doing it all for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, the charity for bereaved military children and young people. Together, they hope to raise £3000 in honour of Maverick’s dad, Cpl Scott Davies, who died by suicide when Maverick was eight years old. He has been supported by Scotty’s since 2018.

The Yorkshire Marvels

From bereaved military child to supporting other bereaved military children

“I‘ve been part of Scotty’s for a fair few years and they really helped me out,” says 23-year-old Maverick. “For me, I just want to help the charity out in return and help get their name out there. I’ve been on both sides of the fence now – receiving support from Scotty’s and also doing what I can to fundraise for Scotty’s – and I just think it’s a really good charity. I know all the money we raise is going to be spent on doing good for other kids who are going through the same stuff I did. It all makes a difference.” 

Wayne, who Maverick considers his uncle, has completed many challenges for Scotty’s Little Soldiers over the years. In 2024 alone, he has already completed a 24-hour marathon pool session for the charity, and is set to take on the Great North Run later this year – all on top of the superhero mountain climb with his nephew.  

“My cousin and best friend was Corporal Scott Davis,” says Wayne. “He died in 2009, when Maverick was eight, and I’ve always tried to raise money in his memory ever since. A few years ago, Mav’s mum was telling me about everything the charity has done for Mav and his two sisters, and I was amazed. I want to support Scotty’s until I’ve paid back everything they’ve done for the kids and more."

Maverick fundraising for Scotty's dressed as Doctor Strange

Remembering a real hero

Having been so close to both Maverick and his dad, Wayne is able to see a great many similarities between the two. 

“Mav reminds me of his dad in all sorts of ways, even down to his behaviour and mannerisms, which is incredible when you think how young he was when Scott died. He’s become an incredibly hardworking, capable young man.” 

Maverick also sees some similarities between himself and his dad, and thinks this challenge is exactly the kind of thing he would have loved to be involved in. 

“My dad loved getting outside, being active, taking on challenges. He was in the Engineers, so he probably did a lot of that in his day-to-day job. If he was still here, I can definitely imagine him giving the climb a go alongside us.”

The Yorkshire Marvels stopping for a photo

Avengers Assemble

Every great challenge needs a hook, and when Wayne came up with the idea to dress up as superheroes, he knew he was on to something. 

“This all started in 2018. I was getting married and decided, as you do, that we needed a stag do. I didn’t really care about a night out in London or Newcastle though, I wanted to climb a mountain. Flash forward to the day, and my mate Wayne Frost turned up in a Spider-Man outfit. There had been no mention of fancy dress, he literally just turned up in this full-body costume. We got so much attention for it and people kept asking if we were doing something for charity, and it seemed a shame that we weren’t, so the next year we climbed another mountain for Scotty’s and the Stroke Association, all of us dressed up as different superheroes. This year, want to make it bigger than ever.” 

Despite dressing up as the famous superheroes, however, Wayne has never actually seen a single superhero film. Luckily for him, Maverick is a Marvel fan. 

“I don’t think he expected us to actually go along with it!” says Maverick. “It definitely makes you more noticeable, and to be honest, it can feel pretty cool when you’re at the top with your cape flowing in the wind. I’m Doctor Strange, and Wayne is always Captain America.”

Wayne fundraising for Scotty's dressed as Captain America

Battling the elements

There are many challenges that come with scaling the highest peaks in the UK while wearing padded superhero costumes, but one that Wayne and Maverick find themselves battling time and time again is everyone’s favourite topic of conversation – the weather. 

“One year, we did a climb mid-heatwave. It was about 40 degrees and absolutely awful. Too hot to enjoy, and we were going through so much water. But it did mean that when we got to the top of the mountain and felt that really strong breeze, it was a massive relief. Wayne’s old Captain America costume had the mouth covered, so he had an even harder time as the inside was getting so hot. He bought a brand new one with no mouth covering after that, so he didn’t have to deal with it again.” 

Wayne adds: “You don’t realise how warm it gets in those costumes, especially the ones with padding. When we did the Yorkshire Three Peaks, one of the guys with a padded costume had to drop out because it was just too much.”

The Yorkshire Marvels fighting the weather

An unexpected plot twist

Heat isn’t the only issue. Wind and rain are also notorious for making mountain climbing an extremely dangerous adventure. 

“Last year, when we got to the foot of Scafell Pike, the weather was dangerously bad, so we decided to postpone until the afternoon. Most people obviously focus on the climb, but I think lots of people underestimate how difficult it is to come back down. The adrenaline that got you up has started to wear off by that point, and the descent can be very tricky if it’s wet.” 

While waiting for the weather to calm, Wayne and Maverick visited the pencil museum in the nearby town of Keswick in full costume, but it was them who received an unexpected surprise. 

“We thought it would be funny to visit the pencil museum in our outfits and give the staff a treat. Well, it got totally flipped on its head, because when we arrived the lady opening up the doors was already dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow. I have a photo of the six of us all holding a six-foot pencil a few hours before we went back and climbed the mountain once the weather had calmed down.”

The Yorkshire Marvels joining forces with Captain Jack Sparrow

About Scotty’s

Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a military charity dedicated to supporting children and young people (0 to 25 years) who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the British Armed Forces.     

Inspired by the experience of Army widow Nikki Scott, following the death of her husband Corporal Lee Scott in Afghanistan in 2009, the charity, which was set up in 2010, provides support and guidance to hundreds of bereaved military children and young people throughout their childhood.     

Scotty’s currently support over 650 bereaved children and young people. Services offered include access to child bereavement support, guidance to parents and carers, personal education and learning assistance (including grants), and fun activities such as holiday respite breaks and group events. These are all designed to remind the children and young people supported by Scotty’s that they are not alone.     

If you know a child or young person who has experienced the death of a parent who served in the British Armed Forces, they could be eligible for specialist bereavement support from Scotty's Little Soldiers. Hundreds of bereaved military children aren’t getting the support they need but we are here to help.   

If you know a bereaved military child who could benefit from Scotty’s Little Soldiers support, visit our Get Support page for more information.


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