Hollyoaks’ Emily Burnett set for charity mountain climb with aunt who has learning disability
Hollyoaks actress Emily Burnett, who plays Olivia Bradshaw, is climbing Mount Snowdon with her co-stars and aunt Teresa Pope who has learning disabilities
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Celebrities prepare for the ‘Push To The Peak’ challenge with Mencap
Hollyoaks star Emily Burnett’s biggest cheerleader is her aunt Teresa Pope. Since the 25-year-old found fame as Olivia Bradshaw on the hit soap Teresa, 58, is proud as punch.
“She’ll meet anyone on the street and tell them what I do or what I’ve been doing last week”, says Emily, who is from Cardiff.
However, this Sunday the roles will be reversed and Emily will be there to cheer on her aunt every step of the way as they climb Mount Snowdon together.
Although summiting a mountain is a tall order for any person, it is a unique challenge for Teresa because she has learning disabilities.
Emily and her aunt Teresa are very close, and will be climbing the mountain together.
( Emily Burnett)
As a result, the 58-year-old struggles with basic tasks such as getting dressed or showering for herself, and also has balance and coordination issues. Climbing a mountain is something Teresa wanted to do ahead of her 60th birthday next year, and because her niece is a Mencap ambassador they decided to do the climb to raise money for the charity.
To do this, Teresa has been training hard with a specialist personal trainer three times a week, and Emily says she will be incredibly emotional when they reach the top.
Emily’s Hollyoaks costar is also climbing Mount Snowdon with Teresa
( Mark Kidsley)
“I think it is almost kind of a big metaphor for what her life has been like. She has constantly had to push boundaries and climb to the top of something that people thought she couldn’t do. And I think that’s what Snowdon is gonna be,” explains Emily.
“Since she was born, people have put a lot of limits on her. They thought that she wasn’t going to have a very long life.
“They thought that my nan was never going to be able to keep her and have her at home, they thought she was going to have to go into a care facility where she would have to be cared for her whole life and she wasn’t going to be independent. She proved everybody wrong.”
Also climbing Mount Snowdon for Mencap is Emily’s Hollyoaks co-stars James Sutton, Eva O’Hara, Gabriel Clark and Connor Callard, who left the soap in 2020. Connor’s partner, TikTok star Monica Geldart, will be among the team, as well as Emily’s actor friend Mia McKenna Bruce who is currently in Netflix adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, and her partner, actor Tom Leach. The group have all been working hard in preparation. Emily says, “I can’t express my gratitude to these amazing humans enough, they have completely thrown themselves into it. The support for Teresa’s challenge has been kind of astronomical. And I think, yeah, they’re all very much looking forward to it.”
The team includes Tom Leach, Emily Burnett, Teresa Pop, Mia Mckenna Bruce and James Sutton
( Mark Kidsley)
Despite her character Olivia Bradshaw blackmailing James Sutton’s character John Paul McQueen, the two actually get on famously in real life and she is thrilled he is joining the climb.
“So all of our on screen angst led to off screen love and affection for each other,” giggles Emily. “He’s one of my closest friends on Hollyoaks, we have a real laugh together. So I’m really looking forward to being on the mountain with him.” James is also climbing Mount Snowdon because one of his family members has a learning disability. Emily hopes that Teresa’s success will challenge viewpoints on what people with learning disabilities can do, and people reassess what they think a learning disability is.
“I think that Teresa will hopefully inspire other people with learning disabilities to know that they can do whatever they set their mind to. I think that’s Teresa’s message, whenever I speak to her about it, she’s like, ‘I want anyone to know that they can do anything they want to do.’ I think that’s really important.”
To donate to Emily and Teresa’s Push to the Peak challenge, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emilyandteresa
To find out more about Push to the Peak, please visit: https://www.mencap.org.uk/event/pushtopeak
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