Businessmen to brave the ice for hospice

FOUR Ipswich businessmen are swapping their suits for thermals to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice through a challenging expedition across Greenland.

FOUR Ipswich businessmen are swapping their suits for thermals to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice through a challenging expedition across Greenland.

Bernard Clarke, managing director of ISG Jackson, Steve Flory, of Hudson Signs, Ray Walters, managing director of Orwell Motorcycles, and Matthew Lidbetter, commercial director of Vibris Ltd, are set to brave freezing conditions - possibly and polar bear attacks - when they go dog sledding with Inuit hunters across eastern Greenland early next month.

The three-day expedition will see them abandon all the trappings of the modern world as they travel by one of the world's oldest forms of transport in the Arctic.

The dog sled journey will provide breathtaking views of Greenland's magnificent scenery with towering mountains and frozen fjords, as well as the chance to see the area's rich wildlife, including seals, walruses, whales - and polar bears.

Mr Clarke said: “The four of us were chatting about personal ambitions and suddenly somebody suggested dog sledding in the Arctic.

“I'm not sure we had any idea what we were letting ourselves in for, but now find ourselves getting prepared for one of the most inhospitable environments on the planet.

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“I'm also slightly unnerved by the succession of emails I received from friends and family members wishing us well and attaching photographs of the gruesome aftermath of Polar Bear attacks!”

Mr Walters added: “This is a real no frills expedition and we will be expected to help push the sled up steep slopes, cook and help pitch the tents when we camp on the ice at night.

“It's a great incentive to know that we will be helping to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice whilst we are out there, but the cynic in me wonders whether this was an exceptionally clever ploy to help prevent any of us from pulling out, especially after Bernard forwarded us those photographs!”

Anyone interested in supporting the team can make a donation to St Elizabeth Hospice online at www.justgiving.com/greenlandexpedition.

William Coe from Coes of Ipswich has already pledged his support by agreeing to provide the team's winter clothing for the expedition, whilst Tim Ryan, managing director of Ryan Insurance Group is providing the team's insurance cover.