South Pole Allied Challenge

Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge

We’re supporting the charity expedition Prince Harry is making with wounded ex-servicemen and women.

Prince Harry will be joining wounded servicemen and women this December as part of a gruelling 200-mile charity expedition to the South Pole. One of the most exciting expeditions of recent times, it’s being run by UK charity Walking With The Wounded to raise money to help wounded servicemen and women find a career outside the Armed Forces.

Prince Harry Speech

The charity supports extraordinary people

Virgin Money and Virgin Money Giving – Virgin Money’s not-for-profit fundraising website – are supporting the challenge, which has seen everyone taking part undertake nine months of training, including intense cold weather training in Iceland. The participants will split into teams for the expedition itself, with expedition Patron Prince Harry (pictured above with other participants at the recent Trafalgar Square event) leading the UK team and actors Dominic West and Alexander Skarsgard leading the Commonwealth and American teams respectively.

It will be an arduous challenge in harsh conditions. Each team will ski for up to 12 hours each day over the course of the expedition, which is expected to last up to 18 days. Each participant will battle snow storms while pulling custom-built arctic sledges called pulks, each weighing more than 70kg – all in temperatures of around -35C.

The trekkers will arrive home just before Christmas

The first team to reach the South Pole will win the brand new Virgin Money Endeavour Trophy, an award we have created to celebrate people and groups who do extraordinary things for good causes and the wider community.

It’s set to be a memorable Christmas for everyone involved – if the teams finish the expedition on target they will fly home to the UK just a few days before Christmas, to spend the festive season with family members who won’t have seen them for over a month.

Our branded teddy bear, Ernest, who is identical to the ones the teams will be taking on their expedition, is available to buy online for £10. All profits go to Walking With The Wounded.

You can also visit your local Store to find out how you can fundraise through your own (less extreme!) walking events – such as walking to work for a week, or doing a sponsored walk at the gym.

You can track the progress of the teams via the Walking With The Wounded website – and we’ll be reporting on their progress here in the new year.

Kate Philip

Kate Philip

Team member

Below-the-knee amputee

Kate was injured while serving in Afghanistan in 2008, when the armoured vehicle she was commanding was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). As a result of her injuries, Kate had her left leg amputated below the knee. Kate was inspired by Walking With The Wounded to give a new focus to her rehabilitation. She also hopes to inspire anyone who is dealing with hardship to dare to try: “better a moment of disappointment than a lifetime of regret.”

Most looking forward to this Christmas

“I can’t wait to get home to mum’s cooking and making inroads into dad’s wine stash – I always look forward to family meals and this year it will be a particular treat after the freeze dried rations in Antarctica! I also have a new niece or nephew on the way so I’m really excited to meet him or her.”

Duncan Slater

Duncan Slater

Team member

Double-below-the-knee amputee

Duncan is determined to show that limitations are only in the mind. In 2009, while serving in Afghanistan, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blew up Duncan’s vehicle. The only unbroken part of his body was his right arm. Both legs were amputated in order for Duncan to walk pain free. “When I was blown up I thought that my life was to be limited… I was determined to prove otherwise. I want to show others that amputees can do anything…to have the opportunity to help a charity that is willing to do so much is beyond words.”

Most looking forward to this Christmas

“I’m really looking forward to getting back in time to watch my little girl open her presents and to making Christmas dinner – I’m head chef in this house! It will be wonderful to spend time with family having been so far away for so long.”

About Walking With the Wounded

About Walking With the Wounded

Walking With The Wounded is a UK-based charity that raises money to train wounded and injured service personnel – helping them to find a career outside the military.

It stages expeditions to raise awareness and to support the extraordinary people who don’t give up, despite their injuries.

The South Pole Allied Challenge is Walking With The Wounded’s expedition for 2013. Previous challenges include the North Pole and Mount Everest.

About Virgin Money Giving

About Virgin Money Giving

Virgin Money Giving

Virgin Money Giving, our not-for-profit fundraising website, is designed to make it as easy as possible to raise more for your charity.

Since we launched in 2009, charities have received an extra £7.5 million because fundraisers used us instead of other sites with higher fees*. We reclaim Gift Aid from the Government and pass it onto charities in full – so for every £10 donation, £12.16 reaches your charity**

You can set up your fundraising page in minutes and use our fundraising ideas and tools to get started straight away.

Visit the Virgin Money Giving website

* Figures based on a comparison cost of service and transaction costs of Virgin Money Giving with JustGiving, based on Virgin Money Giving’s fundraising total of £220 million since launch in October 2009 up to 3 November 2013.

** Based on Donations made by Visa debit card and with Gift Aid reclaimed.

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