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Your trip in safe hands

Written by  Jessica Pitman 05 October 2020

It has always been important to book and travel with confidence. Now, in a world that feels very different, allow us to help you plan a safe and responsible return to travel.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Written by  Jessica Pitman 02 October 2020

Coronavirus (COVID 19) Update: 10th May 2021

In light of the latest announcement regarding the restart of travel from the UK Government, we're looking ahead and feeling optimistic about our adventures in 2021. We may not be able to run all of our trips this year, but under the guidance and restrictions, we're looking forward to getting out into the world where we can, safely, once again. 

If you have made a recent enquiry with us but not yet heard back, please know that we are working hard to get back to everyone as quickly as possible. We've always been a relatively small team here at Discover Adventure, but we're now even smaller than before. We're also on a reduced hours structure to minimise costs where possible. Please check your junk/spam inboxes, as our emails have an annoying habit of getting caught up in some spam filters. 
Before you contact us again, please read this page thoroughly as we may have answered your question here, which remains our most up-to-date source of information. 

 

UK Trips

We will be operating trips within the UK from 17th May 2021, as planned. We're very excited to get back out there with you all, adventuring and exploring the only way we know how! These UK trips will operate under our Coronavirus Operating Procedures, UK Government and Local Government advice, and increased safety regulations. 

Important things to note: 
  • We will be adhering to standard coronavirus safety practices on all UK adventures. Including; social distancing, facemasks in enclosed spaces, frequent use of handwashing and hand sanitiser, and track and trace check-ins where appropriate. 
  • We encourage you to explore insurance options for UK trips, in light of the added risks due to coronavirus. We haven't managed to stay on top of the many changes within travel insurance, but we have heard some good things about https://campbellirvinedirect.com/CIDirect/. We do not work with or have any association with Campbell Irvine Direct. You will need to direct any insurance questions to them and do your own research. As with any insurance: shop around! 
  • For multi-day UK challenges, we may implement bubbles within the group; this will apply anywhere where the rule of six is enforced (for example, restaurants and bars). These bubbles will remain the same throughout the challenge. 
  • We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the free NHS testing ahead of any UK challenge. You can acquire free rapid lateral flow tests here: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests, and we recommend you take one of these tests within 24hrs of joining the trip. 

 

International Trips – Overseas & Europe

From the 17th May 2021, International Leisure Travel will no longer be illegal. But of course, given the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic, strict border control measures and restrictions will be in place. Here at Discover Adventure, we will be doing our best to begin operating overseas trips again, safely within the guidance. Many of you have been as frustrated as we have with ongoing postponements and cancellations of once in a lifetime adventures; we thank you for your patience and continued understanding. We will be working hard to make the best decision based on the information and guidance available and for you, our participants. If we've learned anything in the last 14 months, things can change overnight; whilst we will not be rushing into any decisions, be aware that we are closely and constantly monitoring the situation in our destination countries. 

 

Important things to note: 
  • Discover Adventure will aim to make any final decisions about a trip six weeks before departure
  • Government advice about the Green Travel List is scheduled to be updated every three weeks. If your trip is on the amber or red list today, it does not mean it will remain so in the months leading up to your trip. 
  • If your destination country is on the Green List, assume your trip is going ahead. We will be looking at trips on a case-by-case basis and carefully considering the authorities' restrictions and requirements in destination. 
  • Discover Adventure have a relationship with a highly respected testing company, through AITO, for the required PCR & antigen tests for Green List travel, and we will provide you with this information (and discounted rates) in your final joining instructions.
  • We will contact you with important updates and information as frequently and promptly as possible. 

Further Important Information

Below is a timeline of our trip reviews and a guide when you can expect to hear from us about your trip. Please note, specific dates will depend on the closest government update within the six-week window ahead of your trip.

Trip Departure Month Review Month
July May
August June
September July
October August
November September
December October

 

If you cannot work to this timeline and choose to cancel, defer or transfer before hearing from us, you will be subject to an admin fee and our standard Ts & Cs.

We're cautiously confident, as we move through the year, that it will become more and more possible to run our adventures. Once again, we thank you for your support and understanding over the last year or so. It has been a bumpy road, and Team DA has hugely appreciated your patience. We're still not out of the woods, so ask, once again, for your continued patience as we navigate the next phase of the world, slowly reopening to travel and tourism. 

 

Flexible Booking

When you book with Discover Adventure, you book with confidence. If any of the above changes, or dates slip, our flexible booking promise is as follows:

If Discover Adventure have to cancel a challenge for any reason you would be entitled to the following options –

- Transfer your registration fee to the next suitable departure date, or
- Transfer your registration fee to any other Discover Adventure challenge in our portfolio, or
- A refund of the money you have paid to us for your challenge


Our absolute priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff. We will only operate trips where we have undertaken a risk assessment and where we are comfortable that all aspects of the trip comply with UK government guidelines and any entry requirements and local restrictions in the destination country. If you would like to know more about the procedures and measures we are implementing on our trips to ensure your safety and the safety of our crew, please head to our Safe Adventures page.


Due to the high number of enquiries that we are currently dealing with and our significantly reduced team, it would be helpful if you could wait until we contact you. However, if you need to contact us urgently, please do not hesitate to email or call us; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01722 718444.


We look forward to getting back out there with you, running our amazing adventures, just as soon as it's safe, practical and responsible to do so.

 

(Please see the bottom of this page for previous updates)

 

Official information and sources

If you would like to understand more about the latest Government Travel Advice explicitly linked to the COVID-19 situation, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

For general travel advice and country-specific advice, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice 

The World Health Organisation advice and information can be found here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 

 

FCO Travel Advice

As of 1/02/2021, Official Government Travel Advice states: Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes. (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice)

This will change from 17th May 2021.

We’re keen to avoid cancelling trips unless it is absolutely necessary and will make these decisions based on the FCO travel advice for your destination country, or if the trip becomes operationally unviable due to any safety or logistical concerns. But please be assured, the safety of our customers will ALWAYS come first. If we have any doubts whatsoever about our trips and the associated risk, they will be cancelled. You will be informed if this impacts you.

 

FAQS RELATING TO COVID-19

IS MY TRIP GOING AHEAD?

If you haven’t heard from us, and your trip is due to depart after 17th May 2021, then it means your trip is going ahead.  Please check your junk email folder before contacting us to check if you've received any communications from us.  Please do not assume that your trip is cancelled until you are informed otherwise!

 

If you choose to cancel your place on a trip that is due to run as normal, then our normal T&Cs will apply.  Your registration fee is non-refundable and any trip costs that have been paid will be refunded in accordance with our normal T&Cs. You can read our Ts&Cs in full here.

 

We understand that you might be worried about taking on an adventure later this year, and you may not have been able to train or fundraise as much as you would have liked.  If you want to postpone your adventure until later on this year, or to 2022, then please contact the office to discuss your options.

 

All of our 2021/22 trip prices can be found on our website and you will be liable to pay the price of the trip that you move to.  If your new trip is lower than the amount that you have already paid, then we will issue you a refund credit note for the remainder.

 

If you have not been advised that your trip is cancelled, then please do pay your balance as normal, by the due date on your invoice.  If your balance is not cleared by your due date, then your place on the trip may be cancelled and you could lose the money you've already paid.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF I PAY MY BALANCE AND THEN THE TRIP IS CANCELLED?

If DA cancels or suspend your trip, or if we cannot deliver a significant part of it as a result of Covid-19, then you can choose from the following 3 options:

  • Transfer to another departure of the same trip
  • Transfer to any other Open trip we’re offering of a similar value
  • A refund of the money you have paid for your trip

 

YES. Discover Adventure Ltd is fully bonded, with the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence scheme (ATOL) managed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) - The CAA is the statutory corporation which oversees and regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the United Kingdom, as detailed below. 

In addition, DA is a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)  both of which are UK travel trade associations for tour operators and travel agents, giving you excellent consumer protection.

Read more here: https://www.discoveradventure.com/your-financial-protection

 

We are constantly monitoring advice from the UK government and authorities.  This advice is changing day by day, and so we do not want to make any decisions too early.  We appreciate that this isn’t always ideal but we will keep you in the loop and be open with you so that you know the likelihood of your challenge going ahead. We usually make a final decision around 6 weeks prior to departure, however, this can vary if the travel advice is deemed likely to change nearer to the date of departure.

 

If you are on a trip that is unable to run due to COVID-19, then the same options as above will apply.

 

If you have organised your own flights then you are responsible for your international travel arrangements.  If the trip is postponed then you will need to contact your airline to discuss your options. Your trip is likely to only be postponed due to travel restrictions remaining in place so the airlines should accommodate your requests.

 

We are in constant contact with our charity partners and are providing updates as it is required. We would ask that any participant on a bespoke challenge contact the charity in the first instance, as they will be responsible for contacting their supporters regarding any changes to their challenges.    

If you are unable to contact your charity, continue to look at our updates and the advice from the Foreign Commonwealth Office for British people travelling abroad - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus.

 

With anything to do with fundraising, your first port of call should be your charity.  They will be able to offer you tips and advice – you may need to be a bit more creative, but as Sir Captain Tom demonstrated, where there’s a will, there’s a way!  You also have the option of moving to either the part or full payment options to reduce your target or cover all your trip costs yourself respectively.  Contact us to find out how to do this.

 

HOW CAN I TRAIN WHILE IN LOCKDOWN or under restrictions?

Exercise is really important for both your physical and mental health, particularly in uncertain times such as these.  Having something to focus on, to get the endorphins going, can really help with your stress levels.  Try to get outside and get your steps in every day.  There’s also a multitude of online sessions being offered which are ideal for cross-training and to try something new.  Ever fancied giving yoga a go?  Why not now!  If you’re stuck at home with the kids, get them involved.  Take up a virtual challenge – climb Ben Nevis on your stairs, walk a marathon in your garden – the opportunities are endless!
 

For more information about health & safety procedures, how we will operate our trips under the new guidance and FAQs about coronavirus procedures, see our Safe Adventures page.

 


Coronavirus (Covid 19) Update: 2nd March 2021

With the government's latest announcement and a roadmap to move us out of lockdown in place, there is a lot more optimism about the future and being able to get out into the world once again. We're planning to begin operating trips in the UK, within the guidelines of the roadmap, from May 17th 2021. If you have a trip booked with us before this date, you should have heard from us, or we will be in touch with you this week (2/2/2021) (please check your junk/spam inboxes). We approach this date with cautious optimism, as the government made clear, this could change at any time depending on the infection rate, vaccination programme and pressure on the NHS. 

For our overseas adventures, there is due to be a further update around the details of international travel mid-April. We await this announcement with great anticipation for clarity on our overseas trips. We're optimistic that we will be able to run adventures as normal from June 21st but are hopeful that April's announcement will bring this date forward. We will continue to update you directly with any news, good or bad. And we ask you to continue to bear with us, we're still working as hard as possible with a reduced team and reduced hours.

As a company and an industry, we are keen to get back up and running as soon as possible. So we ask that you continue to adhere to the guidelines, be sensible and stay safe. The motivation to be running unforgettable adventures with you is all we need for the next couple of months!  

 

Coronavirus (Covid 19) Update: 1st February 2021

Whilst many of us were pleased to see the back of 2020 and ready to jump boots first into 2021, we know that this year hasn't started in quite the way anyone would have liked. The pandemic continues to have a significant impact on our lives. We're still under heavy lockdown restrictions in the UK, and there is no confirmed date of when this may ease, and what that will happen next. Across the world, the picture is similar; with lockdowns and restrictions imposed and lifted frequently. Unprecedented was possibly one of the most used words of 2020, and this remains the case now. We're working in an ever-changing landscape and what is still a challenging time for travel. 


Our absolute priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff. We will only operate trips where we have undertaken a risk assessment and where we are comfortable that all aspects of the trip comply with UK government guidelines and any entry requirements and local restrictions in the destination country. If you would like to know more about the procedures and measures we are implementing on our trips to ensure your safety and the safety of our crew, please head to our Safe Adventures page.


Our challenges are suspended until March 31st 2021 - this is as disappointing for us as it is for you. We will decide about trips after this date on a rolling basis (usually about 8-10 weeks before departure).  If you have been affected by this, you should have heard from us already (please check your junk/spam inboxes if you haven't). We continue to monitor the situation closely and remain optimistic about travel in 2021, especially now that the vaccination programme is underway. Due to the high number of enquiries that we are currently dealing with and our significantly reduced team, it would be helpful if you could wait until we contact you. However, if you need to contact us urgently, please do not hesitate to email or call us; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01722 718444.


We look forward to getting back out there with you, running our amazing adventures, just as soon as it's safe, practical and responsible to do so.

 

Previous Update: 2nd October 2020 

First of all, we want to say thank you. Thank you for your patience and understanding, for your bookings, support on social media and emails to let us know you're thinking of us. We're continually thinking about our colleagues and teams around the world. We miss them deeply and hope it won't be long before we are working together again to restore tourism safely. We very much hope that you, and your friends and family, have managed to stay safe, and found a silver lining amongst all the uncertainty.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to be bigger than anyone could have predicted. We continue to do our very best to ride out the most significant storm we've weathered in our 26 years, and the travel and events industry has ever faced. The Discover Adventure team are working as a reduced team on limited hours to keep our outgoing costs to a minimum, whilst we wait for things to improve in the travel sector. We've adapted quickly and are trying to do all we can to ensure that these changes do not impact our usual standards of service, please do bear with us.

We've just passed through what is normally the busiest operational time of year and our Discover Adventure machine, usually in its highest gear, was pretty much at a standstill. This, of course, was heart-breaking. Everything we do is about enabling people to step out of their comfort zones and into the great outdoors. To experience the multitude of benefits adventure travel has, all the while raising funds for lots of incredible charities and causes. Not only is the lack of tourism having a considerable impact on our international colleagues and friends, but a summer without events and challenges has also had a devastating impact on charity fundraising. We aim to fill 2021 to the brim with adventures to help overcome the fundraising deficit and ensure that our charity partners can continue to do the fantastic work that they do.

For now, we remain in a position of limited guarantees and a lot of uncertainty. While we work through this as quickly as possible, your patience is appreciated. We're always in conversation with industry associations, and government officials, ensuring that we are meeting the industry standards they set. The goalposts are constantly moving, and we're doing our very best to keep up and share information or changes with you promptly.

We have reviewed our operating procedures, and although safety has always been our number one priority, we have ensured to include all new COVID-19 guidelines. With this, we have been able to run a select handful of COVID safe events. These events were incredibly successful - the feedback we had from the charities supported, and the participants reflected this (you can read more about this here). We were proud to be one of the first companies in this sector doing what we could to help our clients get some much-needed fundraising in. Through these events, we have proven to ourselves that running COVID safe events in this "new normal" is more than possible and exceptionally safe with the right precautions in place.

As we move into the winter and into, a hopefully much brighter, 2021 we remain optimistic and excited for the future of adventure travel and charity challenges. 2021 already looks busy for us, and we're looking forward to seeing the key differences and benefits that adventure has in post-COVID world. We hope to see you out there again very soon!

Rob Fielding - General Manager

 


 

If you have any concerns at all, please contact the team in the office, and we can give you our honest view of the situation at present. 01722 718444 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brexit - Passport advice

Written by  Kim 05 February 2019
There has been some confusion and mixed-reporting in the press about passport validity and expiry dates in the event of a “No Deal Brexit”. In a time where there isn’t a lot of clarity, we wanted to clear this up for you;
  • Your passport expiry date will be the date it was issued plus 10 years, any extra months you may have had added to your passport in renewing early may not be counted.
  • You will need 6 valid months remaining on your passport for travel to the EU.
If you need any more information, please see the government advice here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-brexit
Or you can call the team in the office. We will be directly contacting people that we believe this may impact in advance of their trips.
This only applies in the case of a “No Deal Brexit”.
 
For further information on travelling to Europe after 12th April 2019, please see the ABTA information sheet here.

Give the gift of adventure

Written by  Holly 12 December 2018
Looking to treat the adventurer in your life? Whether it's their birthday, you want to give them a big thumbs up for being awesome or maybe you want to inspire them to take the first step towards their DREAM adventure, we've got it covered! 

 

Discover Adventure now offer handy gift vouchers to make you the most epic present-giver ever! 

 

Simply choose the amount you wish to give and write a message, we'll do the rest. With a choice of having your gift voucher sent to the lucky recipient via email, sent to you to print off home and wrap however creatively you are feeling or we can even print your voucher off and post it to you [£3 admin fee].

 

FIND OUT MORE

 

saharan mini adventure discover adventure

 

Maybe you're looking for a £5 token gift to say thank you, persuading a friend to get trekking on the Marathon Walk London with you, or you're thinking of covering the reg fee of the Everest Base Camp Trek so the much-loved adventurer in your life can live the adventure of a lifetime, your gift can be as personal and as extravagant as you wish. 

 

An almighty gift in an instant, a breath-taking adventure at a click of a button. Are you ready to make someone's year totally unforgettable?

 

Give the gift of adventure.

 

BUY A GIFT VOUCHER

 

Marathon Walk London Discover Adventure

 

After extensive planning, Discover adventure is very excited to announce that our 2019 open challenge departure dates are now live and awaiting your bookings!

If you are looking to make 2019 extraordinary by meeting new friends, immersing yourself in new cultures, pushing yourself to your limits and raising money for a cause close to your heart this is your opportunity...

“Our Kilimanjaro trip was the adventure of a lifetime, with memories impossible to forget. Dr Phil brought so much joy with his passion for dancing with the porters and Vic kept the smiles on our faces. You don’t come back quite the same person you were when you left!” At Discover Adventure we want you to achieve your ambitions and we’re here for you from the get go! "- Kat, Mount Kilimanjaro Challenger - 2017

The launch of our 2019 trip dates comes ahead of the publication of our new 2018/19 brochure which will be landing on door-steps in January. The brochure will be full to the brim with great-iconic challenges such as Mount Kilimanjaro trek and the Great Wall of China Trek and will be home to a selection of brand new pioneering adventures to cater for those looking for something a little different for their next fundraising challenge experience. You can also look forward to insights and advice from our challenge experts, inspiration and top tips from previous participants, and guidance on how to choose your challenge!

Best of all we are now taking pre-requests for the 2018/19 brochures so if you want to be at the top of the mailing list then order it today!





Why book now for 2018/19?

From years of experience we strongly believe (and advise!) that by booking your challenges well in advance you put yourself in the best possible position to not only complete the challenge successfully but most importantly enjoy yourself! Take your time to build up your confidence, mentally and physically prepare and raise that all important sponsorship. We have tonnes of advice on our website and blog for you to look at to help you do the best that you possibly can in all areas, from how to prepare to tips on gaining your all-important fundraising sponsorship

We know you have it in you, and we are here for you every step on the way to support you from providing training guides, kit lists and tricks of the trade. Book now to begin you journey with plenty of time!

If you have any questions at all or just want to know more about how Discover Adventure operates worldwide charity challenges, please contact us

We've helped to plant 67,000 trees in Peru

Written by  Steph 03 February 2017

 Since 2007, the Vilcanota Project has succeeded in planting over 500,000 trees in the Cuzco area of Peru.

Discover Adventure has supported this project to re-plant trees in the Polylepis forests of the Vilcanota mountain range in Peru since 2010. The project is a collaborative effort involving 21 rural communities in the Lares watershed, near Cuzco, Peru. It was pioneered by Paul Cripps of Amazonas Explorer together with NGO ECOAN and organisation One Percent for the Planet, and it is a project we have passionately supported for many years through our own donations and that of many of our challengers.

These forests are home to a wide biodiversity of endemic species including the Royal Cinclodes, a critically endangered bird as well as the endangered White Browed Tit-Spinetail and Ash Breasted Tit-Tyrant. Aswell as carefully preserving the home of these birds, the forests are also critical to providing erosion control, provide essential microhabitats for a plethora of species and help to balance the oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

 

Sustainable & Responsible Travel: How we do it

Written by  Steph 16 January 2017

Discover Adventure have always been passionate about our planet; understanding the importance of exploring countries and educating people through the medium of adventure, as well as reinforcing the need to protect the land that we discover. We understand that encouraging others to experience the world involves flights, ferries and other sources of pollution and that’s why we are upping the stakes. We’ll be launching our sustainability mission very soon, which will include exciting ways in which we are combating our carbon footprint, as well as adopting more planet-friendly ways to live the adventure.


Since DA first began we have consistently considered local operators in the communities we visit to ensure we are contributing to local economies. We’ve fought to limit single-use plastic on trips around the globe, including partnering with Water-to-Go to get our participants a 15% discount on their travel water bottle. We’ve long donated to a range of causes, which have aided projects that benefit the locations we visit around the world. Looking after our planet is, and will always be, at the forefront of our travel plans, and as the importance of sustainability is more urgent than ever before, it is our mission to do everything we can to protect our planet. And we’re bringing you along for the ride. Watch this space!


Jonathan, Discover Adventure MD, says, ‘we are really thrilled to be working on so many forward-thinking projects to help enhance the sustainability of our challenges, changing the way we encourage people to travel with us and helping the people and land we come into contact with around the world. Even on a smaller scale, seeing what can be achieved right here in the UK at DA HQ. Responsible travel is central to DA’s identity and the team and business’ core beliefs, so we will not only continue, but work harder to reach new levels of sustainability. Now, more than ever, it is vital for the travel industry to do their bit in the fight for our planet and Discover Adventure are absolutely going to be a part of this.’

 

“Take only photos, leave only footprints”


We really believe that. We care and we know you do too but we know we aren’t perfect, and we imagine that you might not be either. But whether we’re thousands of miles apart or living next door, we together share this blue and green planet and we want to make sure that what we do whilst we are living on it, benefits future generations of all species for years to come - human, animal, plant or otherwise!

Gold at the British Travel Awards

Written by  Steph 24 November 2016

In 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!"

Together, we're re-building Nepal

Written by  Steph 08 April 2016

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.

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.

"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.

Julio Ludago: Kilimanjaro World Record attempt

Written by  Steph 24 September 2015

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.

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!

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