East Devon man stranded abroad raises money by climbing mountain

Sam, second from the right, helping Dehorn a rhino. Picture: Sam Leahy.

Sam, second from the right, helping Dehorn a rhino. Picture: Sam Leahy. - Credit: Archant

A Branscombe man who has been stranded in South Africa throughout lockdown has decided to make the best out a bad situation, raising money for charity.

Sam Leahy is aiming to raise £500 for the Help for Heroes charity by climbing up the Majuba mountain.

The 25-year-old went to South Africa in February to work with an anti-poaching unit for a couple of months.

But, due to Covid-19 he has been stuck out there since the start of lockdown, enjoying every minute.

Sam has now moved down to KwaZulu-Natal while waiting for the airspace to reopen for a flight back, expected to be in mid-September.

Sam has long been interested in the history of the Zulu and Boer wars in South Africa.

He has in-depth knowledge of all the battles and sites, and the British army’s role throughout, Majuba being a key loss for the British.

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He also is keen that the fallen soldiers and burial sites are remembered, and thinks this challenge will raise awareness for armed forces past and present.

Sam, who was a barman at The Fountain Head in Branscombe, said: “To be quite honest, any amount I would be more than happy with, I set the bar at £500. But, any amount towards a worthwhile cause is a plus.

“I have a number of friends who are either currently serving or ex-servicemen.

“And due to the military significance climbing Majuba just seemed to fit.

“It’s a wonderful charity that helps veterans and injured service men and women. Just a great cause really.”

Sam said he thinks the climb will take the best part of a day to reach the top and climb back down but he has been doing a lot of walking and climbing a few hills to prepare.

He added: “I think it is important the men who died on that mountain and in fact all the British soldiers that gave their lives in conflicts throughout Africa and are to a large part forgotten,are remembered.

“Those soldiers went a long way and fought incredibly bravely to just lie in mostly un-identified graves under foreign soil and again largely forgotten about.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sam-leahy21 to donate.