Challenge 12. Summit Cerro Aconcagua (6961 M ASL)

This was by far the grittiest challenge of them all. My mental and physical robustness was significantly tested on this expedition, much more so than any other, and, if I am honest, I think I am a little broken now!The combined effects of a 17-day expedition; carrying a heavy pack, eating foreign food, drinking from mountain streams and, most notably, living at significant altitude, was a bit of a beating.That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy trekking up Aconcagua, the Andes are of course beautiful and striking, and I met some amazing international people along the way, but I underestimated this mountain – classic me. Read More »

Challenge 11. Paddle, Paddle, Paddle – for 20 miles

So big confession… the channel didn’t happen, and, holding my hands up, most likely won’t happen this side of Christmas.Unsurprisingly the weather in November was not on our side (the 40 knot winds would have taken us to Norway rather than Boulogne) and there were only so many tide windows available to us.Nevertheless, it will happen next year (safety boat deposit having already been paid) and so the team and I decided that, rather than come up with a completely new challenge, we would complete a placeholder paddle boarding adventure for November. Read More »

Challenge 11. Veteran Army Officer Faces English Channel Crossing by Stand up Paddle board – in November!

"So, the channel didn’t happen (40 knot winds are a bit of a buzz kill) but we are not the sort of people to be stopped! We did the distance anyway this weekend - just not on the ocean"Read the full explanation hereA former Major in the Royal Artillery is about to attempt a winter crossing of the English Channel by stand up paddle board, in the latest leg of a year-long quest to support Armed Forces veterans in their battle with mental health issues. Read More »

Challenge 10. Ultra-marathon Jordan (250 km)

Without a doubt, this has been the hardest physical challenge this year and probably the hardest of my life. The journey really began on our arrival to Wadi Rum Reserve. Here we jumped off the coaches and onto the back of ancient pick-up trucks; most of which required hot wiring and had more than a million miles on their clocks. We then sped off into the setting sun, across the red sand to our first campsite. Lit by glowing candles and generator lighting it was pretty magical; spirits were high and I don’t think anyone could quite believe they had finally arrived. Many had trained for months in preparation for what would be the longest running race of their life.Very early on I connected with some fantastic people; finding I had mutual friends or British Army connections with some of them made settling into the experience extremely easy.   Read More »

Challenge 9. Dart 10k open water swim (10km)

As always I hugely underestimated this challenge. Even as I entered the water I thought ‘I think this might be a bit of a cop-out’, and ‘maybe I haven’t made this hard enough?!’This thought was definitely due to the persistent feeling of it all still not being quite enough. Ridiculous I know, but it’s there nonetheless. It’s partly imposter syndrome and partly the people and social media I am exposed to. In particular for this challenge, a few days before I started, I noticed that a friend of mine (a renowned excellent swimmer and successful channel crosser) is going to attempt to swim around the island of Jersey. This will be an incredible feat (it is something like 40 miles!) and, without doubt, my swim marathon pales in insignificance.Because of this, I keep having to remind myself that I am not an elite athlete (I’m definitely not a pro swimmer and I don’t even particularly like open water) and each challenge has been difficult relative to my own ability, and Read More »

Challenge 8. Hadrian’s Wall self supported ultra run (84 miles in 2 days)

Stretching from Bowness-on-Solway, near Carlisle, to Wallsend in Newcastle, the route took me through beautiful countryside between the North Pennines and Kielder Forest, past the remnants of the incredible Roman fortification, Hadrian’s wall.This was a great distraction as the brutal route climbed a total of 4500ft and the weather was atrocious, with constant penetrating rain for 11 hours straight on the second day. 84 miles of trail running in 23 hours, carrying a tent and supplies resulted in my feet and body taking a real battering and (bar the tendinitis I received after challenge 4) this is definitely the most broken I have been so far. I did, however, meet two other veterans on route, a Marine and a Parachute Regiment soldier, which gave me lots of motivation to continue! Read More »

Veterans' Foundation Challenge List

Challenge 1. KÖNIG LUDWIG LAUF 2022 Freestyle Ski Marathon (50km) Germanys biggest XC ski event and part of the Worldloppet XC ski series. The course was rolling with a total elevation gain of 830 metres; more than enough considering my training for this had consisted of rollerblading to work throughout January. I have XC skied before but not for years so it was pretty tough on the body to jump straight onto skis with no more than a quick warm up! Still, a good beat up challenge!Challenge 2. Jurassic Coast Ultra marathon (40 miles/ 64km) The Jurassic Coast Ultra started at Abbotsbury, Dorset, and followed the beautiful but brutal Southwest Coast path all the way to Lulworth Cove. It was a very hot weekend, and this is still the longest distance I have ever run in one go. It was also self-navigated which should have been easy (keep the sea on your right…) but I managed to get temporarily navigationally challenged. It took nearly 10 ho Read More »

Aerobility launches Armchair Aurora to ‘Light Up Lockdown’ with impressionist Jon Culshaw

Building on the success of Armchair Airshow, Aerobility, the UK’s leading disabled flying charity, along with Impressionist Jon Culshaw and Astronomer Pete Lawrence, is lining up a host of astronomers, scientists, aviators and artists for an hour long, live-streamed Armchair Aurora event on Saturday, March 13th at 18:00.The free to attend event will livestream via and will take viewers on a journey of wonder from their armchairs and into the skies.Bringing together spectacular Aurora footage, interviews and Q&A with scientists, there will be insights on polar aviation and the workings of the Aurora, all beamed to living rooms around the UK and worldwide. “This event is just one example of how we continue to support the disabled community and continue to inspire ability through aviation during lockdown, while aircraft are grounded. If I were to describe what it will be like, I would say, think ‘Spring Watch meets the Sky at Night’, exclaimed Aerobility CE Read More »

For Aerobility, the Sky is the Limit...

Drone Major Group is excited to partner with Aerobility, a registered charity that offers disabled people (without exception) the opportunity to fly and participate in aviation-based activities. Over the past 25 years, the Aerobility team has tirelessly worked to remove significant barriers to enable those with physical, learning or mental health impairments to feel a sense of achievement, accomplishment, pride and freedom.When they started in 1993, Aerobility was a simple organisation with a small team and limited space and equipment. Today, the charity has grown to include a fleet of five aircraft, classroom space for instruction and locations in several major UK cities. Every year, Aerobility helps over 900 disabled individuals to develop the life skill of aviation to not only build their confidence but also their chances of future employment within the industry. For people who live a life full of “No’s,” Aerobility serves as a fundamental “Yes” – proving to these indivi Read More »