An entrepreneur has surpassed his fundraising target and has raised a significant six figure sum for his charity Wickers, which works to combat knife and gun crime.
Henry Smith, 56, is tackling one of the highest peaks in Antarctica, Mount Vinson in a bid to raise money for The Wickers Charity and has already exceeded his target by 25%, raising over £100,000.
The Wickers, which was set up earlier this year, provides young people aged eight to 18 with a safe haven at St Mary of Eton in Eastway, offering positive role models, learning opportunities, recreational activities and educational workshops.
Smith said: “I’m overwhelmed by everyone’s contributions. We have a fantastic team here who give phenomenal support to these youngsters. The kids get put into a box and told: ‘you’re not going to make anything of your life’ but they need to know that they are capable.
“What we’re doing is working but it is not a quick process because you’ve got to keep repeating to them that there is hope and they can make a success of their life. If we get to them early we can empower them. The donations are going to really help continue the work we’re doing and together we will save lives! An incredible amount has been raised but we’re still asking for more.”
On 6 January: he’ll be trekking through treacherous conditions involving high wind speeds, temperatures could reach 40 degrees and days will consist of 24-hour sunlight.
He added: “It will be a huge task. The biggest challenge is the cold, you cannot get away from it. You wake up with ice in your tent, you have to carry the tent up the mountain but you’ve got to be strong. You layer up but you have to take items off when you get hot because if you sweat, you’re at risk of pneumonia. We’re hoping to take eight to 10 days but if we get stuck in the weather it could take up to two weeks.”
To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/henry-smith01#