A group of Army cadets from Wiltshire are heading for Mount Everest next October and have set themselves the target of raising £8,000 for Help for Heroes.
The eight youngsters and four adult instructors are awaiting permission from the Army for a 14 day trek to Everest base camp which will mark the 150th anniversary of the Army Cadet Force (ACF).
Staff sergeant instructor Beverley Cubbon from Abbey Meads said the planning has been going on for six months. “It’s a huge challenge to organise this project, not least raising the £20,000 needed to get us to Nepal. We’re within sight of our target and once we’ve covered the cost we’ll be going all out to raise a further £8,000 for Help for Heroes.”
The group will have to be very fit, hiking for up to six hours a day, much of it over 4,000 metres, climbing through two passes at 5,500 metres.
Sophie Scotford from Lower Stratton said she was excited by the idea when it was put to units across Wiltshire. “We do a lot of expeditions in the cadets, but going to Everest sounded like an opportunity to do something amazing.”
Daniel Hannan from Abbey Meads said, “I’ve done quite a few long hikes, but trekking over high mountains will be something special. It will be a bit different to our usual expeditions to Wales.”
Dipendra Pun from Walcot has a special reason for signing up. “My father served in the Gurkha regiment and I’ve wanted to join the Army from a young age. I grew up in Nepal where I could see Everest in the distance from our village. Although I’ve experienced high altitude, it will be a tough test – for all of us.”
Fundraising over the next few months includes sponsored events, a Valentine’s disco, a live music gig, a quiz night and supermarket bag packing.
The group will be accompanied by Wiltshire ACF commander Major Pete White, with Lt Mandy Rowley remaining in Britain to ensure continuity and coordination.
To assist with fundraising, mail: Wiltsfirstname.lastname@example.org
Boost their Help for Heroes fund at: www.justgiving.com/CadetsFaceUpToEverestForH4H