James Kenealey ex-forces
MORSON NEWS | 3 MIN READ
Morson sponsor veterans challenge for mental health and PTSD
Wilderness Navigators team aim to summit Mount Elbrus in Russia.
As part of our 50 weeks of giving, Morson Group is delighted to sponsor the Wilderness Navigators’ Mount Elbrus challenge, being undertaken by two forces veterans to raise money for mental health and PTSD.
Taking place in September 2019, the challenge will see two forces veterans, Jake Gardner and Samuel Dean, attempt to climb the highest summit in Europe. Passionate about climbing, Jake served in Afghanistan in 15 Sqn as a Royal Air Force Regiment Gunner. It was during Herrick 17 that he was injured in 2013, resulting in his medical discharge in February 2015.
A leader and navigator, fellow climber Sam Dean served alongside Jake in Afghanistan with 15 Sqn and has since served in multiple countries around the world. He speaks to Morson about the story behind the challenge:
“We set up Wilderness Navigators with the main vision of delivering hiking and climbing experiences to groups offering support and guidance to encourage a healthier lifestyle. We want to engage people from all walks of life so they can combat their personal goals, particularly in ways close to us being veterans – mental health and PTSD.”
For their newest feat, the pair will be joined by another veteran climber and will attempt to summit Mount Elbrus. One of the fabled Seven Summits and with an elevation of 5,000m, the dormant volcano of Mount Elbrus sits in the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia near the border with Georgia.
“We don’t have a specific charity but for the Mount Elbrus challenge we’ve partnered with a charity called Rock 2 Recovery which is a veteran’s charity for mental health and PTSD.”
Ticking off Mount Elbrus is a step towards a bigger challenge for the climbers:
“Long term we want to do all of the Seven Summits, with Everest the main one. Jake has already climbed Aconcagua [Andes, Argentina] but we chose this one now because it’s affordable without a major corporate sponsor and it’s within our skillset.”
The journey will begin with a flight from London to Moscow followed by a connecting flight a couple of days later to the mountain range. Between the 1st and 8th September the team will spend time acclimatising to the are before attempting a summit.
“Which day we do it will depend on the weather, but we’re hoping we can make it in the middle of that period, maybe the 4th. We’ll be going up the west summit. All being well, we should be back in England for 11th September."
Our '50 Weeks of Giving' programme has seen us provide an individual donation each week to help worthy causes in the region. Coupled with our core annual charity activity, we aim to raise and donate £500,000 in total as we celebrate our 50th year in business. Our core charity activity will see us work to raise money for the employee-chosen charities in 2019, Motor Neurone Disease Association and ABF The Soldier's Charity. In the last 10 years we've raised over £2million for worthy causes throughout the UK such as the Seashell Trust and Destination Florida.
Everyone at Morson wishes the Wilderness Navigators team the very best of luck for their trip. Follow us on Twitter to check in the with the climbers.