United We Conquer – We Survived the Yomp

Hugh EwartIt’s 1943. A young Hugh Ewart aged eighteen arrives by train at Spean Bridge. He is part of a band of recruits from across the armed services that have been selected to do the newly created Commando course on the Achnacarry Estate. On disembarking the train they are told they have to speed-march eight miles  up to Achnacarry Castle in under an hour. Failure to do so means being immediately returned to unit (RTU).

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Mission Complete – This year I am “Surviving the Yomp”

Thank You for caring and making a real difference. Twelve Months ago on Monday 3rd September 2012 I took the leap and took on the Descent the Shard. Why, to raise serious amounts of money for charity, and to push myself way outside of my comfort zone.

This year I am “Surviving the Yomp” – the challenge –

You are 21 miles in. Your feet are throbbing and your shoulders burning. Your brain is telling you to stop and rest but you know you must dig deep and carry on. Every Royal Marine has to have reserves of physical and mental strength to complete the Yomp, the 30 mile final test in their gruelling training to gain their green beret.

Am I tough enough to Survive The Yomp and raise serious sums for Royal Marines in need? Please sponsor me www.justgiving.com/Rob-Gardner8.

Watch my short video of the Descent of the Shard to see the build-up, the descent and the incredible views of London from the top!

Commando Spirit’s mission is to raise £1million by 2014 for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund (RMCTF). As a result of everyone’s generous support and donations we managed to raise £25,532 in sponsorship which ended up helping raise a total of more than £400,000 and a grand total of funds raised so far since 2011 (including Escape the Dunker) of £653,491. The RMCTF exists to provide benevolence support to bereaved widows and families, serving and retired Royal Marines and their dependants, and also to underpin morale, efficiency and spirit de corps. With the continuing toll of casualties arising from operations in Afghanistan, the work of RMCTF in supporting our wounded on the Recovery Pathway is more than ever. Raising £25,532 was no easy feat. It involved

For those of you interested in the fundraising statistics – I had 365 JustGiving donations and several cheques which resulted in an average of just over £65 per person – A truly remarkable achievement. Thank you again for caring and making a real difference.

#RIP – Jeremy Paxton the spirit of adventure!

DCIM100GOPROOn a sad note my good friend and fellow descendant and shardist Jeremy Michael Paxton (1960-2013) passed away last month. Jeremy was a truly remarkable man who touched all of our hearts and changed our lives forever. Jeremy’s death has reminded me of the importance of living each day to the full, and to quote Abraham Lincoln “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

The Descent of the Shard (video) – Final Fundraising for Remembrance Day 2012

The Descent of the Shard

On Monday 3rd September 2012 I descended the Shard to raise serious amounts of money for Commando Spirit.   This involved abseiling 1,000 feet from the top of the tallest building in Western Europe with 40 other descendants or “Shardists” including HRH the Duke of York, Ffion Hague, Sir Chris Bonnington and yours truly, an intrepid pensions consultant.

Why did I do it?

1.       The challenge of raising £25,000 for Commando Spirit and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund. A huge thank you to all 315 people who kindly sponsored me to date.

2.       The mental challenge of standing at the top of top of the tallest building in Western Europe, to lean backwards and step-out onto the sheer glass of the Shard with a 1,000 feet vertical fall below.

How was it?

I have to admit that, two weeks beforehand, the fear started to build. On the Monday morning of the descent, my mind was distracted by a client Investment Committee meeting; but, at midday, when I had to leave for London Bridge, the butterflies quickly entered my stomach. These were the most serious butterflies of my life. As I made my way to London Bridge to put on my jumpsuit, harness and safety helmet, the fear and anticipation continued to build.

Watch my short video of the Descent of the Shard to see the build-up, the descent and the incredible views of London from the top!

[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKP7dB517_Q&feature=plcp%5D

While The Descent is done, our work has just begun.

Many thanks for everyone’s support and ultra-generous sponsorship to date.  With less than a week to Remembrance Sunday, I wanted to make a final fundraising push to raise £25,000 for our heroes the Royal Marines.

If you haven’t already and would like to support the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund, please simply donate online

www.justgiving.com/Rob-Gardner6

A huge thank you and enjoy the video(s)!

Rob

p.s. if you missed Dawid’s video blog of my Descent of the Shard then check-out “Fifty Shards of Grey” 

[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnlQTdr_xc8%5D