Axminster veteran to lead Arctic expedition

PUBLISHED: 07:01 14 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:17 15 January 2019

Steve Mackenney (holding the banner front left) with the team. Picture contributed

Steve Mackenney (holding the banner front left) with the team. Picture contributed

Archant

Team plans to drive to the top of Norway in just 75 hours

A former soldier from Axminster is leading an expedition to the Arctic Circle to aid fellow veterans suffering from stress.

Steve Mackenney, 49, and an intrepid team of drivers have set themselves the challenge of travelling to Nordkapp island, at the very top of Norway, in just 75 hours.

They hope to raise several thousands of pounds for the Armed Forces charity Combat Stress - the UK’s leading mental health organisation aiding ex servicemen and woman.

It is a cause close to Steve’s heart as, having served in the Royal Logistic Corps he has a number of friends who are suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The team will be made up of 12 mostly Devon based volunteers who signed up after an appeal through the press made a year ago.

They will all be using six 4x4 vehicles as the drive is going to take them through some extreme weather conditions when they cross into the Arctic.

For the first three days the team will drive non-stop in four hour shifts, covering 2,765 miles.

Steve, whose current work involves teaching people survival techniques, said “I am really looking forward to setting off in April. It’s been nearly two years in the planning and it will be a fantastic adventure.

“The trip has brought together a group of like minded people who previously did not know each other. Everybody has worked really hard to prepare for the expedition, bringing their own skills to the group as well as raising money.

Every penny donated will go direct to Combat Stress as each driving pair is self funding their travel expenses.”

Before setting off the team is hopping the weather locally turns really cold so they can have a training day to test out their camping equipment. Temperatures where they are going can reach a chilly minus 20!

People can support the team by donating to the charity, via the Just Giving page, search for Nordkapp: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/charitydrivenordkapp

You can also follow the team’s progress on a Facebook (Charity Drive to Nordkapp). Steve is already planning his next trip for 2020 which will be to North Africa and the Sahara Desert.

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