East Devon man stranded abroad raises money by climbing mountain

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 August 2020

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

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

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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.

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.


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