Take two middle-aged men, invite them to a charity evening; provide them with a good meal, add a little wine and what happens? One suggests: ‘Let’s go to Everest Base Camp!’. The other agrees: ‘That’s always been on my bucket list. While we’re at it let’s raise some money for the Children’s Fund’. And that’s how many adventures begin. In this case five individuals finding themselves in Nepal immediately after the monsoon season had ended.
Nick Dutt, whose son James is currently the Navigation Officer onboard HMS QUORN and Dave Bridger, the Engineer Officer’s Branch Secretary and long-time trustee of the RNRM Children’s Fund, managed to persuade three friends to join them for a ‘little walk’ in the Himalayas. With a combined age of 285 years and with the three friends having no long-distance and only limited mountain walking experience, the intrepid explorers arrived at Lukla Airport (sometimes known as the World’s most dangerous airport: take a look on the Internet). After eight days of walking, two of which were classified as ‘rest / acclimatisation’ days, this unlikely team arrived at Everest Base Camp. In doing so, they have, to date raised just over £5,000 for the only Service Charity that is specifically dedicated to assisting Service children in need, hardship or distress.
Last year the RN & RM Children’s Fund helped over 1900 naval children, spending just under £1.4M in the process. Grants were given for a variety of reasons. In some cases children with specific needs required specialist help or equipment; in others families (serving or ex-Service) required assistance with child or respite care. In many of the cases that the charity supports a little help is all that is required, but the overall effect on the family is considerable.
Sadly, the cases seen by the RN & RM Children’s Fund continues to grow and funds are always required. Should you wish to donate to the Everest Base Camp Trek then please visit www.justgiving.com/DaveB-EBC or text RNRM58 followed by the amount (ie RNRM58 10 for a £10 donation) to 70070. Further information about the charity, frequently abbreviated to RNRMCF, can be found at http://rnrmchildrensfund.org.uk