This October I am going to be undertaking a trek to Everest Base Camp to try and raise awareness and money for SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association).
After 22 years in the British Army, I am moving on to a new career in order to create a more stable future for my family, but specifically my 2 amazing children. Aaron and Ruby are 2 wonderful little people who I am proud to call mine. In 2012 we decided that we would like to become adoptive parents after being given the option to have IVF but deciding against it. Living in Germany at the time meant that we were faced with a wealth of issues in the process - the first and most paramount was obviously us not living in the U.K but also not being in one county long enough to fully partake in the assessment and matching process from that local authority.
Fortunately, a truly brilliant charity (SSAFA) were there to support us in our adoption process from start to finish. In 2013 they provided us with an adoption social worker who assessed us and went on to match us with our beautiful baby boy, Aaron, who was just 7 months old. Again with the support of SSAFA, he was placed within our care at the age of 10 months and we gained our adoption order shortly after to make him a fully fledged Wilson! In 2015 we decided to do it all again and, with the support and guidance from SSAFA, we were once again assessed and approved ready to be matched... which happened very suddenly with 12 month old Ruby joining us in 2016. Throughout this time we cannot fault the continual care and support given to us from SSAFA. Previously we had felt that being a military family was perceived as a negative to adoption local authorities, yet SSAFA only ever found the positives in our situation and were keen to represent us and show what we could offer. As an organisation, they are very professional and fully equipped to give guidance to military families in a very unique circumstance, yet this is fully funded by donations. So, before I leave, I want to try and raise money to ensure that this amazing charity continues and that other people in a similar circumstance to my wife and I can be given the same opportunities.
In October, I will be flying to Kathmandu and beginning a 12 day trek from Lukla up to Everest Base camp and back again. The trek should see me reach altitudes of over 5500 metres and consists of around 8 hours of trekking per day. For those of you who know me, this will be no easy feat with my knees and to come back in one piece without injury!!
The expedition to Everest Base Camp will cost approximately £2000 but i am hoping to double this to ensure that SSAFA fully benefit from my efforts! I know that everyone has a charity that is close to their own heart but just this once, I would be so very grateful if you could support me and mine. Any donation, no matter how small or large, will undoubtedly mean the world to SSAFA and all the families that they can help thereafter.