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 http://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.”

Leap, and the net will appear


Or, if you’re leaping off the Shard, perhaps it won’t.

On September 3rd this year I’ll be taking part in TheLeap, a challenge involving abseiling at high speeds down the newly opened Shard, the highest building in Europe, in the style of a Royal Marine. This is the second in a series of Commando missions organised by the charity CommandoSpirit, which invites high flying business types (their words not mine) to move way outside their comfort zones, and push themselves to the very limits, while raising money for the RoyalMarinesCharitableTrustFund. The RMCTF supports Royal Marines, ex-Marines, and their families after injury, trauma and death. Sometimes the support this charity provides is helping marines recover from physical injuries and trauma, while sometimes it’s financial aid for the families of those who die in active service. Either way, this is a charity that helps those who put their lives on the line for us. A pretty good cause, by all accounts.


Last year, I completed theDunker, another of the Commando missions involving the underwater escape from a simulation of a helicopter crash at sea. It may have been out of pity or as a contingent funeral fund, but my friends, colleagues and family helped me surpass my £10k target and raise an admirable £11,000. This year, I’ve set myself the lofty goal of raising £25,000 by doing TheLeap.

There’s something fascinating about the extreme physical and psychological capabilities of men; where are our limits? And what happens if we push them? Not many of us ever get the opportunity to really test our own, but here’s a man who has: PeteGossis an ex-marine, world-renowned sailor, and general limit-pusher. He’s probably best known for his impromptu detour from a solo round-the-world yacht race in 1996, in which he turned his vessel around and sailed it back into the eye of the storm to rescue a fellow sailor. And in 2008 he built a woodenlugger with no modern communication or navigation tools, and sailed it to Australia in celebration of the seven Cornishmen who made the same voyage 154 years ago. His heroism doesn’t cease at the physical, though.

Even considering the clear danger of appearing close enough to Pete for comparison, I asked him to help me fundraise for The Leap by speaking publicly about his adventures. I’m humbled that he accepted and I’m delighted to announce that he will be the keynote speaker at an extraordinary, one-time event on Thursday August 30th at Pinsent Masons’ offices in London.

Please support me (and my Leap) directly, by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/rob-gardner6

and donating generously to help me raise £25,000!


“They put their lives on the line for us. And when our Royal Marines need help, we want to ensure they get it. Take on a Commando Spirit Challenge!” – @CdoSpirit

Having walked away in one piece from last year’s exhilarating Dunker Challenge I am delighted to be part of Commando Spirit’s next fundraising challenge – Take The Leap, an eye-watering fast rope abseil from an iconic London landmark (and helicopters)!

High Flyers Wanted For Commando Mission

Bored of sitting in your office while the sun shines? Looking for a thrill that money just can’t buy? This could be it! There are a few remaining places for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Don’t worry about fitness or fear, every step of the way a Royal Marine will be there!

Your Mission, If You Choose To Accept It….

To help Commando Spirit succeed in their mission to raise £1 million for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.

To achieve this, each participant is asked to raise £10,000 which will be used to aid the wounded, provide a quality of life to returning marines and, in the worst case, to support the families of those marines who do not make it back.

Why Did I Accept It (Again!)?

It is not just the adrenaline rush (although that is fantastic), nor indeed the money raised for an amazing cause – the camaraderie and training received from the Royal Marines turns this experience into something I will never forget, nor regret.

I would love it if you joined us for this amazing experience!

Further details on http://www.commandospirit.com , latest news on http://twitter.com/cdospirit

If you wish to sponsor me, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/Rob-Gardner6

Many thanks from me and all the other nutters people taking part