Ex-Royal Marine prepares to take on gruelling Arctic challenge in memory of Colchester cricketer

Lorraine and Philip George with Nick Griffith. Picture: MOSAIC PR AND DIGITAL

Lorraine and Philip George with Nick Griffith. Picture: MOSAIC PR AND DIGITAL - Credit: Archant

A Colchester-based charity is set to receive a boost in funding thanks to a brave volunteer preparing to embark on a 300-mile trek across the Arctic.

Rob George was just 21-years-old when he died in 2013. Picture: BIRKETT LONG

Rob George was just 21-years-old when he died in 2013. Picture: BIRKETT LONG - Credit: Archant

Nick Griffith, an ex-Royal Marine, will take on the Yukon Arctic Ultra in February next year – a race he must complete in eight days.

The trek will include walking solo through ice and snow in temperatures as low as -50°C, and Mr Griffith will also have to drag a heavy sled carrying his tent and supplies for 18 hours each day.

No stranger to fundraising, Mr Griffith works as the regional facilities manager for Care UK – the charity partner for The Rob George Foundation, which is set to benefit from his expedition.

The organisation was set up in memory of sportsman Rob George, who died at just 21-years-old on in December 2013 following a long battle with leukaemia.

Before his death, Rob - a former pupil at Colchester Royal Grammar School - had just made it into the Colchester and East Essex 1st XI at the town’s cricket club.

Mr Griffith said: “I met with Rob’s parents, Lorraine and Philip, and was touched by their story. I have always had a passion for sport, in my case extreme sports, and am delighted to be supporting a charity that helps young people to pursue their love of sporting activities.”

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Mr Griffith has already taken on several marathons and Iron Man events, and in 2013 was part of a four-man team which rowed across the Atlantic Ocean.

He added: “It was a life changing experience and one of the toughest things I have ever done. Of the 16 teams that started only 10 completed the race with the remainder either abandoning or being rescued.”

The money Mr Griffith raises will help The Rob George Foundation continue its work to provide practical and/or financial support to young people with life threatening or terminal illnesses.

Mr George, Rob’s father, said: “The foundation is currently receiving an average of one application for assistance from needy young people each and every working day.

“To satisfy this sort of demand, the pressure for more and more fundraising becomes more and more intense, and so the generous support from supporters like Care UK becomes ever more important.

“We are thrilled, and very humbled, that Nick should choose to raise money for us.”

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