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Best Escorted Adventure Travel Company Winners

BritishTravelAward NewsIn 2015 we were very pleased to take home Silver, but this year, we fully embraced our 'Know No Limits' spirit to go for Gold! And thanks to all our customers and clients who voted we were both proud and humbled to walk away as winners of Best Small Escorted Adventure Travel Company at the prestigious 2016 British Travel Awards. 

Jonathan Bryan, our Founder and Managing Director said of the award, ' Wow - what an endorsement. The British Travel Awards are fantastic in recognising companies across the travel British Travel Award Goldindustry and are one that I am pleased Discover Adventure is a part of. I am exceptionally proud of our team - both in the office and our wider team of crew and medics who work with us across the globe to deliver the trips of a lifetime for our customers.  The fact we have won this award based on votes from our clients alone means a great deal to us and will continue to motivate us to provide the best adventure challenge experiences to all customers for many years to come. Thank you to everyone who has supported Discover Adventure!"

British Travel Awards’ Chief Executive Lorraine Barnes Burton said: “Discover Adventure is to be congratulated on winning Best Small Escorted Adventure Travel Company.  Competition was fierce this year with more companies entering the competition than ever before - but ultimately it is the travelling public who decide the winners by voting for the travel companies they consider the best in the business.  The British Travel Awards is the largest awards programme in the UK and to win is truly an accolade and testament to the great products and services travel companies offer to their customers.” 

 

For a full list of winners, visit the British Travel Awards’ website: britishtravelawards.com.

To book your own Discover Adventure challenge for 2016, visit www.discoveradventure.com, call 01722 718444 to talk to an expert, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The British Travel Awards is a proudly independent organisation, verified by leading global business practitioners, Deloitte.

British Travel Awards Voting Button

The British Travel Awards (BTA) are open for voting and this year, we are pleased to be nominated for two awards;

  • Best Customer Service

  • Best Escorted Adventure Company

The British Travel Awards are an independent organisation where the winners are determined solely by the votes each entrant receives. Last year, we were exceptionally proud to be awarded Silver for Best Escorted Adventure Company (small) thanks to the votes we received from you our Challengers and Clients and this year we are hoping we’ve done enough for you to help us reach Gold.

“For us, your votes are a humbling endorsement of the challenge experience we provide. They allow us to benchmark the success of our efforts to continually approve the service we offer in order to consistently deliver outstanding experiences for our customers before, during and after their challenge.”Jonathan Bryan, Managing Director

If you have had a great experience on a Discover Adventure Challenge, whether it has enabled you to achieve something you previously wouldn’t have thought possible or perhaps it was just a crew member whose pep talk kept you going when you wanted to throw in the towel, we’d really appreciate your support! It takes just a few seconds to vote and you can do so via the link below:

VOTE for DISCOVER ADVENTURE

Voting closes on September 30th and we will let you know the results when they are announced in October.

Many thanks in advance for your continued support!

Brexit News Update from Discover Adventure

As you may or may not know, the UK’s decision to leave the EU has had a large impact on the travel industry as a whole and we wanted to both update and reassure you all on what this means for you.

But first, for those wanting to skim read this article, here’s the news in brief:

  1. The impact of the Brexit vote on the devaluation of the Sterling caused by the current uncertainty means our operating costs worldwide have increased dramatically for our overseas operations.

     

  2. The good news is we have taken the decision not  to pass on any of these extra costs to our customers, (cue a sigh of relief!)

     

  3. The better news is we are about to launch our brand new challenge brochure for 2017 / 2018 so why not awake your inner adventurer and come along to our evening of ‘Inspiring Adventure’ and Brochure Launch on 27th July 2016 – see below for more details.

And for those keen for all the detail, here it is:

The Brexit vote held in June has given rise to considerable uncertainty and a lack of confidence in the business world, giving rise to a de-valuation of the Sterling relative to the US Dollar and Euro. Unfortunately, most of our overseas trips are paid for in US Dollars and therefore, the costs involved in operating these trips has significantly increased.

At this time, Discover Adventure is pleased to say that we will not be passing on any cost increases, by way of price rises, to you for all of our challenges departing in 2016. This decision has been a very difficult one, however, being able to continue to provide you with once in a lifetime challenge experiences is of the utmost importance to us and we hope that by absorbing these costs on your behalf, we will be able to welcome you back on many more challenges in the future.

We hope that this has clarified any queries or concerns you may have had regarding your upcoming Challenge with us.

To end on an even more positive note, we are looking forward to the launch of our 2017/18 Challenge Brochure and to celebrate the launch of new trips with both our Charity Clients and our Challengers, we are inviting you to an evening presentation of all that is great and good about adventure on 27th July 2016 at the Snow + Rock store in Covent Garden.

CHARITIES CHALLENGERS
Register for our Brochure Launch Event here

Register for our evening of ‘Inspiring Adventure’ here

You’ll be joining guest speaker’s explorer Benedict Allen and Leader Jo Bradshaw, fresh from her Everest Expedition!


We hope that you will continue to travel with Discover Adventure in the future and look forward to seeing you on a Challenge soon.

 

Nuwakot District Nepal

YOUR SUPPORT

Together, we have donated over £4,500 to our friends in Nepal. Following the devastating earthquakes that struck last April, Discover Adventure made a pledge to donate £150.00 for every booking made on one of our challenges based in Nepal.
Your desire to help and motivation to take on a challenge has helped to raise much needed funds that will now contribute to the purchase of raw materials required to rebuild homes in some of the affected districts. Nepalvillage

 

Our donation will help to fund the raw materials for the rebuild of Nuwakot Bazaar. Nuwakot is set between the sub tropical lowlands and the upper regions of the Himalayas and was severly affected by the earthquake. More than 3000 homes were rendered un-inhabitable following the quake and as a result a huge rebuild effort has begun, spearheaded by Niraj Shrestha. 

Niraj is Director of Himalayan Encounters (our Ground Operators based in Nepal) and he has established, 'Support Rural Nepal' , an organisation founded with the sole aim to pull together and support the plan needed to re-build districts such as Nuwakot, and importantly to 'do it right and go one better.'

 

The construction will be done by the local people and the new houses will include extra rooms to enable them to generate business by operating as homestays during the busy tourist season. They will also be 'eco' homes, ensuring the buildings complement the environment and are sustainable for the future.

We will be sharing any updates from the project as and when we receive them. This country is close to our hearts so thank you for your support and for returning to a country that we love.

RETURNING TO ADVENTURE
Despite the difficulties faced over the last 12 months the country is on the road to recovery and its peaks and parks are open for you to explore and the people are ready to welcome visitors with open arms.

Our March 2016 challengers have recently arrived back from Nepal, having completed their trek to Everest Base Camp. This group we're taken through their challenge by Jo Bradshaw, who goes on from Base Camp to resume her record breaking challenge of the dual climb of Mount Everest and Lhotse. Completion of the challenge will see Jo become the first British woman to have climbed both mountains in succession, but it is not the record breaking title that drives her, it is an inner drive to 'never, ever give up.' A mantra that she uses to both motivate herself and the many people that she guides through expeditions each year.

We are following Jo's progress on this epic challenge and are supporting her all the way. For her latest update check out her 29029ft in 2 boots Facebook page.

The DA community is wishing her a successful and above all safe climb to the summit(s) and we're looking forward to seeing the Discover Adventure logo flying on her flag at 29,029 feet!

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If Jo has inspired you or if you want to explore Nepal for yourself, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nepal Vid

WEDIDIT Collage header

This year we wanted to celebrate all that you had achieved and in the run up to Christmas we have been sharing your ‘WE DID IT!’ moments from the last 12 months.

Whether they made you laugh, cry, whether it was the place you were in, the people you were with, it has been great sharing them all with you.

We have now collated all these into a highlights book for you all to look through – so sit back, relax and feel proud at what you have all achieved….

Discover Adventure awarded Silver for Best Escorted Adventure Travel Company

Jonathan and Jane Bryan collect Discover Adventures Award

 On Wednesday 25 November, Discover Adventure was awarded silver in the ‘Best Escorted Adventure Holidays Company’ small-business category at the 2015 British Travel Awards (BTA).  The British Travel Awards is the largest awards programme in the UK, designed to reward the best companies in travel.

Managing Director Jonathan Bryan says: “We are exceptionally proud to receive the award, especially as it has been voted for by our clients – it’s a real endorsement of the experiences we have been able to provide through our fundraising challenges.

Since announcing our receipt of the award we have been overwhelmed by congratulations and endorsements from our clients, which is very humbling and has also reinforced our desire to continually improve our service offering to challenge participants and charity, corporate and schools clients alike. We're looking forward to what 2016 will bring!"

 

For a full list of winners, visit the British Travel Awards’ website: britishtravelawards.com.

To book your own Discover Adventure challenge for 2016, visit www.discoveradventure.com, call 01722 718444 to talk to an expert, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 BTA Silver award

News update: Paris

Following the tragic and appalling events in Paris last week, we would like to extend our thoughts and deepest sympathies to our friends, colleagues and all those who have been affected.

We would also like to share the most recent advice, issued from ABTA -The Association of British Travel Agents:

The French Government has advised the general public and visitors to remain extra vigilant and it has also increased security measures. Although the chances of being involved in a terrorist incident, either here in the UK or overseas, remain extremely small we would like to reiterate that the risk is being taken very seriously and action is taken as and when appropriate.

If you have any questions regarding your planned challenge experience, please do not hesitate to contact our office team: 01722 718 444 (9am – 5.30pm Monday to Thursday and 9am – 5pm Friday).

Nepal News update

Nepal and their tourism trade has faced a turbulent time since the powerful earthquakes in April and May of this year.

Following this we have been in close, ongoing contact with our ground operators to both support the relief effort and to keep you informed about the status of our planned Everest Base Camp and Trek the Himalayas Nepalpic2challenges.

Most recently, our Head of Operations, Rob, visited Nepal to personally recce our challenge routes and to meet with our local ground operators to gain a first-hand insight into how our donation scheme is supporting the re-build effort and to ensure the safety of our trekking routes.

We conducted the following interview shortly after his visit so we could share the latest information with you.

Following the earthquakes and the subsequent FCO advice, why did DA choose not to cancel their Nepal based challenges?

We felt strongly that (as long as it was safe to do so) we should keep our trips running. Income from tourism will help Nepalese economy and earthquake recovery more than anything.

Importantly, our local operator was involved in international safety assessment of Everest Base Camp trail following the earthquake and the results were good. With this first-hand information, we felt FCO advice was unnecessarily cautious and that we would be able to run all our scheduled challenges safely.

You recently went out to Nepal to visit our Ground Operators and to reconnoitre our trekking routes – what did this reveal? Nepalpic1

It was really important for us to visit Nepal ahead of our next challenge there. For this I spend two days trekking the most heavily affected earthquake areas from Lukla – just beyond Tenzing Gompa above Namche. In line with all the correspondence we have received, it was pleasing to see that the trekking route is open as normal and groups have been ascending the trail since early September.

The locals have done a great job of repairing trail and it is now even better constructed than before. The route now has stepped rock gabions dug into hillside with a footpath on top rather than just a footpath dug into hillside.

There is a short section (of approximately 100m) of rock fall beyond Tenzing Gompa, which appears reasonably stable. A low risk of subsequent rock fall remains, however, the risk is manageable and will be limited further by ensuring trekking groups don’t linger in the area and therefore pass through it without rest.

As part of this, the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) are now likely to erect warning signs to advise trekkers not to rest in area. Local guides have also been briefed to warn groups of this prior to passing Tenzing Gompa.

The lodges have been rebuilt, to a higher standard than they previously were, with advice from structural engineers. These are now more likely to withstand similar level earthquakes should more occur in the future.

Following the monsoon season, landslide damage occurred in a couple of places near Toktok (the lower part of trail near Phakding). However, all sections have now been repaired with rock gabions and again, now at a better standard than previously.

Kathmandu (in contrast to Khumbu valley) remains largely unrepaired although life and infrastructure remain active. The hotel we most often use for our trekking groups had suffered some damage, however, the Nepalpic3affected areas of the building have now been knocked down. Further building work is ongoing here, but it is low key therefore the hotel is open with minimal disruption to guests.

This is great news. All bookings that have been made for our Nepal based challenges since the earthquakes, have resulted in a £150.00 donation from Discover Adventure towards the relief effort, how will this be used?

All our donations are going towards the Support Rural Nepal project. These will fund the purchase of specific materials for the ongoing construction and repair work. It is also likely that these funds will pay for the build of a whole house depending on the level of costs required. For more information on the Support Rural Nepal project or to donate directly please take a look at their Facebook page by clicking here.

Lastly, the response from the locals regarding tourism was overwhelming. They are encouraging visitors to return to their mountain nation and we look forward to you joining us on our next challenge there. For more information on our Everest Base Camp treks and Trek the Himalayas challenge please take a look on our website or call our team on 01722 718 444.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Discover Adventure local crew member takes on Kilimanjaro World Record

You could say that you’re either one of two people in life; one who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro or one who has it firmly on their bucket list.

For those of you who have climbed this iconic Mountain with DA (or indeed have it booked in the diary for the coming months!) you will know how important the crew are to keeping you motivated, and our local crew are especially important in supplying boundless enthusiasm, motivation and songs to keep you going during those tough moments.Julio 1

The climb to Uhuru Peak (5896m) will usually take you between 5 and 7 days and its no mean feat!

So, how about making it up AND back in under 7 hours? Impossible you say?

Not for Professional Mountaineer Julio Ludago.

Julio is one of our Ground Crew based in Tanzania with Ahsante Tours, who has worked with us for many years, supporting and encouraging many of you to Kilimanjaro’s summit.

He is now taking on his own personal challenge, by attempting a new World Record for the fastest ascent and descent of Africa’s highest mountain. The existing World Record is held by Swiss-Ecuadorian Mountaineer Karl Egloff who complete the challenge in a mere 6 hours and 42 minutes in August 2014.

This is the time Julio is preparing to beat.

Motivated by the desire to keep the record for the climb to the roof of Africa in Tanzania and by the mentality of ‘why not me?’ Julio will embark on this immense challenge on 27th September 2015 and we will be supporting him all the way – we hope you will too!

Jo Bradshaw, who has climbed Kilimanjaro with Julio more than 15 times with DA (and has her own record in the pipeline) is fully behind his attempt,

“When I first met Julio over 5 years ago he was an assistant guide working his way up the ladder. He was a quiet individual, not one of the big characters you see on the mountain. He was watching, learning, listening, observing and all of that hard work has made him into the first class main guide that he is today and his own big character has shone through.
I know that he is rock solid, he really knows his stuff and we work so well together because we expect the same high standards in order to deliver the best possible experience for our DA clients. I’m very privileged to call him my friend and wish him all the very best for a successful world record attempt. Go for it Julio!’

Ben Keen, our experienced DA leader, has climbed two of his Kilimanjaro ascents alongside Julio and says, 'When working on any mountain, it's paramount to have trust and confidence with your ‘in-country' team as these will ultimately be the people who are going to help keep your clients safe regardless of what may lie ahead on the climb. From the first moment of meeting Julio with his huge smile and his quiet but confident manner, I knew we would all be in safe hands. Julio2

Julio has an immense amount of experience and knowledge of climbing this amazing mountain. This shines through when I watch him working with clients. Julio is strong in mind and in body but yet is gentle and humble. He gains a respect from all that work with him on his team and from the clients he is guiding. Always willing to offer a hand to those who need it, always there to carry a bag for those who are tired and always there just when I need him to chat through logistics or plans for the day. He is a talented guide and a ‘Rafiki’ (Swahili word for Friend) I am looking forward to working with again soon. The challenge which is ahead of him is huge but through his determination and talent, I am in no doubt he will succeed. Maximum respect!"

#KnowNoLimits Julio and Good Luck from DA HQ.

Follow and support Julio’s challenge by using by #TheClimbAfrica

Watch his video to find out more

 

Know No Limits

"The biggest failure in life is the failure to try”

How do you spend an hour of your spare time? Shopping, surfing the web and buried in Facebook? Walking the dog, meeting up with friends, doing the ironing or chilling in front of the TV? So many ways so spend an hour. So, how about donating an hour of your time?

I heard about the charity ‘Inspiring the Future’ on the BBC Breakfast news; I can’t remember exactly when but it peaked an interest in me about showing the next generation that there are options out there which are slightly different to the norm. The news piece was about promoting the initiative to a wider audience and about trying to recruit more women to sign up and take part.

We all live busy lives, trying to fill every minute with one thing or another. I too live a busy life, by choice, but not so busy that I can’t give up an hour of my time and go and chat with teenagers about what is out there for them. All the initiative asks for is one hour a year.

I registered on the website – www.inspiringthefuture.org – not expecting to be overwhelmed by requests to talk and no, I didn’t hear anything straight away. However, I was eventually invited to a school to talk as part of their careers day. Unfortunately I couldn’t make the day so I had to decline. That’s the beauty of this initiative, you are not obliged to say yes and as a volunteer, it must fit in with your schedule.

This summer I was contacted by All Saints School in Weymouth. They wanted someone to speak to their Year 11s, on their first day of their final year at school (pressure!) and to kick start the day with something a little different. Unfortunately I was away on a trip when Miss Hegarty’s request initially came through but we kept in contact. Then, towards the end of August, she contacted me again to say that her speaker had dropped and would I be able to step in – ‘Yes!’ I said.

The theme of the talk was ‘Just try a little harder’ based around the saying ‘The biggest failure in life is the failure to try’. I’d heard the saying whilst watching The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a great movie with a fabulous cast and Dame Judy Dench delivered the line so eloquently that it has stuck with me since then. Miss Hegarty had spotted the saying on a post that I had put up on my 2,029 in 2 Boots Facebook page and thought it very fitting for such a talk.

2nd September came and off I went, driving the 1 ½ hours down to Weymouth. I could have said no to travelling such a distance but I had never been to Weymouth and with my faithful companion Daisy Dog on board, we were also looking forward to having a paddle in the sea afterwards. I have to say that I was rather nervous. I’m used to giving briefings and talks to adults where a little banter goes a long way and teaching outdoor skills to teenagers through DofE but standing up in front of 180 sixteen year olds is another thing!

I started my talk with the obligatory embarrassing photo from 28 years ago when I was their age which hopefully got them on side! I told them about my life at school, my hopes and aspirations for the future and then my life as it happened...

I left school thinking that I was going to work with and train horses all my life, get married, have children, the usual. How differently it has turned out. I left horses and went into retail, a natural move don’t you think! Working my way up through management I then went into another couple of industries using these skills until I landed up at Business Link as a Business Advisor. Economic development was never my thing and although I enjoyed the job I knew it wasn’t my future. Then I undertook my first challenge with Discover Adventure, a charity cycle ride in Peru. Completely out of my comfort zone that one time of saying yes completely changed my life, slowly but surely, moving me from a suit and heels to boots and outdoor kit. The rest, as they say, is history.

I came awaJo at Base Campy from the school not knowing whether I had made a difference. I did say in my talk that if just one of the 180 was inspired to get out and do a little more, stretch their own comfort zones, take a chance, do something different, then I’d had a successful morning.

You never know whom you are going to inspire or how you will inspire them. I was having this conversation last night with some dear friends. In my head I am still the little girl 'fat' girl at school, the reality now is very different.

Please share your life experiences and give a little of your time. You don’t need to travel the distance I did and even if you do, it’s certainly worth it.

Follow Jo’s inspiring story here

Find out more about our challenges in Peru that could too stretch your comfort zone

Support Nepal

WE CAN HELP

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has set up the Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

This appeal has raised over £19million in its first 24hours, with £14million from members of the public and a further £5million from the Government's aid match programme. We encourage all who wish to help the rescue and relief effort to make a donation to this fund along with us. With so many now homeless as a result of the earthquake, clean water, food, medical supplies and shelter are the most vital needs of our friends and colleagues.

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Discover Adventure did not have any clients in Nepal at the time of the earthquake, however one of our leaders, Jo Bradshaw was at Camp 1 on Everest at the time. She and her climbing partner Rolfe are safe and have now moved down to Pheriche en route to Lukla. Our local teams of porters and guides are safe and well. We have contacted them to find out what support they need and will respond accordingly when we receive this information.

Future Discover Adventure departures

Please note that all Discover Adventure trips scheduled to Nepal this autumn will continue as normal unless otherwise stated. Tourism and trekking will be more important than ever to aid Nepal’s recovery. If you have any queries please contact your Open Challenge Co-ordinator directly or call 01722 719 444.

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Nepal Earthquake
  • A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday morning, with aftershocks over the weekendNEBCTreck 14

  • Avalanches were triggered on Mount Everest, causing fatalities at Base Camp

  • Jo Bradshaw** and her climbing partner Rolfe are safe and have been flown by helicopter back to Base Camp this morning

  • Our Ground Operators based in Nepal have been contacted and all are safe and well

  • Please contact our charity partners direct if you’d like to support the rescue effort - see links below

**Jo Bradshaw is a Discover Adventure tour leader of many years' standing and many of our clients know her well. On this occasion she was tackling a personal challenge supported by 360 Expeditions, but of course we have had many calls from friends and clients enquiring about her and are pleased to be able to post good news of her whereabouts.

This weekend we saw beautiful Nepal descend into a state of emergency following a huge earthquake early on Saturday morning. Powerful aftershocks were also felt on Sunday between Kathmandu and Everest, causing further avalanches and destruction in the capital. 

Our thoughts are with our friends and colleagues in Nepal and we have been overwhelmed by the words of support we have received for our Nepalese friends, and for Jo Bradshaw and her team who were at Camp 1 on Saturday, 200km from where the earthquake struck. Jo and her climbing partner Rolfe Oostra of 360 expeditions have this morning been flown by helicopter back to Base Camp. We are yet to hear what their next steps will be and will send an update in due course once this information has been received. We are pleased to say that we have made contact with our Ground Operators based in Nepal and all are safe and well.


Nepal and neighbouring countries India and China, which have also suffered casualties as a result of the quake, are home to many great friends and colleagues and we have had a wealth of messages for those of you wishing to support the Nepal relief effort directly. If you wish to do this, we encourage you to do so via one or more of our charity partners who have responded swiftly and effectively to the rescue effort through the links below:

British Red Cross | searching for survivors, providing first aid to the wounded and running blood banks

Oxfam | working to provide clean water, sanitation and food for those effected

Your words of support are testament to how our memories and connections unite us all - friends, adventurers, partners and colleagues - so let’s stick together and support each other through this next challenge.

Please note that all Discover Adventure trips scheduled to Everest Base Camp this autumn will continue as normal unless otherwise stated. Individuals will be notified should this situation change. If you have any queries please contact your Open Challenge Co-ordinator directly.

Thank you.

Jonathan Bryan

Director, Discover Adventure

Partnership, challenge and personal goals

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We're looking forward to celebrating outstanding fundraising acheivements at this years National Fundraising awards!

We are proud and excited to be sponsoring the Best Business- Charity partnership award at this years’ National Fundraising awards, hosted by the Institute of Fundraising in July.

The last 20 years has seen DA develop close working relationships with over 2,000 organisations, both charitable and corporate, to provide fundraising adventure challenges. This has enabled over 50,000 individuals to complete personal challenges and in turn, raise over £85 million for a variety of causes.

Jonathan Bryan (MD) said of the sponsorship, ‘The link between corporate and charity organisations is an essential one – it widens the pool of potential supporters for a charity and immediately engages a group audience, which for completing a fundraising challenge, makes the experience all the more positive, both from a staff engagement point of view as well as motivation for training and fundraising support.
We are really looking forward to celebrating the achievements of all nominees and winners on the night – and we hope to see you there!’

The National Fundraising awards will take place on 6thJuly at the London Hilton Metropole, recognising the outstanding fundraising achievements of the last 12months. The awards will celebrate the first evening of the three day Institute of Fundraising conference, a great opportunity for networking and advice on how to grow your supporter base – chat with us at the convention on stand 8 to find out how we can inspire fundraising support through a challenge adventure.

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Toilet Twin- Nepal

Intrigued? Well I bet you didn't know that 2.5 billion people across the globe (a whopping 40% of the world's population) don't have somewhere safe, hygienic and private to go to the toilet.

Surprising right? And to think last time you were on holiday you may have moaned that the toilet facilities were a little more basic than what you're used to. Well, when the choice is between that and nothing at all... it made us here at DA realise how something as mundane as having access to a toilet (and more than one) here at the office as well as another when we head back home, makes us pretty lucky. This fact, combined with the opportunity to support a unique and innovative initiative, compelled us to help out those lacking in loos by embarking on the fantastic scheme of toilet twinning!

At DA we operate trips across the globe and giving back to the local people that support our teams of participants during their stay, is extremely important to us, so when we heard about this ingenious initiative by Cord and Tearfund to Twin our toilets, we just had to get involved.

Toilet twinning is partnership between these two international charities that everyone (with a toilet!) can get involved in. The human and economic impact of no loo access is enormous - 60% of all rural diseases are caused by poor hygiene and sanitation, therefore unsurprisingly, investment in sanitation is one of the most effective forms of aid.

So, we are proud to announce that our two office toilets are now twinned with lovely latrines in Cambodia (no. 5026) and Nepal (no. 60084) and yes, we have the certificates to prove it and are displaying them with pride! You can take a look next time you are paying a visit to DA HQ.

ToiletCambodia1Toilet Nepal2

But,it doesn't stop there, we've all been caught out at one time or another and luckily we are never far from a decent loo - be that at a shopping centre, motorway services or jumping into a coffee shop when the coffee is the last thing on your mind- so get twinning and make sure that your global neighbours no longer lack this basic living essential - the more toilet twins, the merrier.

It's easy to do, check out www.toilettwinning.org and let us know where you've twinned yours!

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Jo Bradshaw, one of our most experienced DA leaders, is on course to become the first British woman to complete the dual climb of Everest and Lhotse.

We are really excited to see Jo embarking on a true challenge of a lifetime. Many of you will have met Jo on one or more of the 70 challenges she has lead for us over the last eight years and you will know, that she really know's her stuff - but, it hasn't always been that way; "I didn't event think I would climb Snowdon, but after taking part in a charity cycle with Discover Adventure back in 2004, it set me on the path for a permanent life change!"Jo Bradshaw

Jo caught the outdoor adventure bug and soon replaced the four walls of an office for some of the most inspiring landscapes on the globe. Ambitious and determined, Jo is now taking on the epic challenge of summiting both Everest and Lhotse in a dual climb, and is on course to be the first British woman to do so. The timing is apt, with 2015 being the 40th anniversary of the first woman to climb Everest and therefore it is safe to say that back at DA HQ, we are more than proud of Jo and will be supporting her all the way to the summit(s)!

Not only will Jo conquer a great personal challenge by completing the climb but she will also raise a great deal for Place2Be, a charity which helps primary and secondary school children to overcome difficult situations through mentoring and counselling. Her decision to support Place2Be followed a Venice to Rome cycle challenge for DA, where a number of the participants were supporting the charity and through finding out more about its cause during the 381 mile cycle, she felt compelled to both raise awareness and essential funds for them.

Jonathan Bryan (Discover Adventure MD), says, "This is a fantastic challenge and Jo's journey is hugely inspiring. Our team will be supporting her all the way and we wish her the best of luck for a successful and, above all, safe climb to the highest mountain in the world" (and we are looking forward to seeing the Discover Adventure flag flying at 8,848m!)

Jo sets off for this epic feat on 29th March and we look forward to seeing her safely back on UK soil at the beginning of June. To support her or to donate to Place2Be please visit www.29029feet.co.uk.

Click to read our latest newsletter full of details of trips to tempt you away.

See another side by challenging yourself to cycle from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janerio this autumn. Deserving an award for the world’s most scenic coastal cycling trip, riders can expect to have their breath taken away countless times on this 325-mile adventure alongside lush rainforest-covered mountains, glittering ocean and fishing villages. Departing 9 October, the trip costs from £2,399 pp (two sharing) and includes nine nights’ accommodation, flights (London), transfers, some camping equipment, most meals, entry to sites listed in the itinerary, bike hire and Discover Adventure support team. If you wish to fundraise on this challenge, the amount to achieve is £4,200. Click for more details.

Click to read our latest newsletter with details of trips and challenges to tempt you to do something amazing for charity.

Ride the roads that some of the best cyclists in the world raced over during the Tour de France 2014 Grand Départ (5 & 6 July), by retracing the 116-mile route of the first stage, from Leeds to Harrogate. The route itself is tough, taking in the twisting, narrow stone-walled roads of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. With some challenging climbs, riders will need to ensure they are fit enough to manage the distance and the terrain. Departing on 19 July, the one-day event costs £99 pp (Registration Fee of £35 plus Trip Cost £64)  and includes transfer from Harrogate at the end of the cycle trip, snacks and water, route maps and support from Discover Adventure team.

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