Polar explorer raises £30,000 for Warwick-based charity with South Pole trek

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A seasoned Polar explorer has raised £30,000 a Warwick-based charity by completing an expedition to the South Pole.

Seasoned Polar explorer and Redditch businessman Dean Attwell has returned home after successfully completing an expedition to the South Pole.

Walking and skiing at an altitude of approximately 3,100m for up to 10 hours a day, Dean arrived at the South Pole on Sunday January 12, having left the UK on the December 30 2019.

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Conditions ranged from clear, crisp bright skies to near whiteout ground blizzard conditions with deep snowdrifts covering sleds and tents.

Dean Attwell and Olly the Brave at the South Pole. Photo suppliedDean Attwell and Olly the Brave at the South Pole. Photo supplied
Dean Attwell and Olly the Brave at the South Pole. Photo supplied

Training for over a year to ensure he was ready to handle the extremes, Dean, the group chief executive of Oakland International, frequently tests his endurance whilst raising money for charity, taking part in a range of fundraising adventures including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in 2013 and trekking to the North Pole in 2017.

Dean managed to raise £30,000 for charity Molly Olly's Wishes, which was set up by Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw following the death of their eight-year-old daughter Molly in 2011.

He said: "I first discovered the charity whilst visiting a bar in Stratford with some colleagues. I left a tip for the barman and he asked me if it was OK to put it into the Molly Olly’s charity bucket – no problem.

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"He then came round to see me for the gift aid declaration to enable the donation to increase. I thought then that this charity has had an effect on this person enough for him to take the trouble to drive donations and I asked Jane Thompson who was with our group at the time to look into the charity for me as I had at that time not decided on which charity to support for fundraising from my imminent South Pole expedition.

Dean Attwell at the South Pole. Photo supplied.Dean Attwell at the South Pole. Photo supplied.
Dean Attwell at the South Pole. Photo supplied.

"Since deciding to support them, we have got to know them better and this has re-confirmed that our initial impressions of Molly Olly’s Wishes were the right ones and it is a great charity which has a meaningful effect on many children’s lives (and those of their families) as they come to terms with life limiting and terminal illnesses.

"Rachel Ollerenshaw speaks from the heart as a parent who has lost a child to cancer and has channelled her energy into supporting others in the same position.

Speaking about the trek Dean said: “The South Pole is stunning and brutal at the same time. Its pure beauty and raw nature are breath-taking, whilst extremely challenging, with every step both physically and mentally demanding.

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“I want to thank everyone who’s helped and supported me throughout this journey.

"My family, friends and colleagues, the team at Forder PT gym who worked so hard to ensure my body was expedition ready, to Keith from Polar Explorers who looked after me both on and off the ice, and to everyone who has donated and supported me and Molly Olly’s Wishes, an amazing charity, which has already helped over 1,500 children across the UK.”

"Both personally and as a business, we are committed to a long-term partnership with Molly Olly’s Wishes and look forward to playing a part in driving support to a fantastic charity."

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