Sally’s base camp bid for troops

A SIDMOUTH woman is tackling Everest to raise funds for wounded troops’ rehabilitation.

Sally Neal, 40. of Ladymead, is trekking to Everest Base Camp next month. While covering the travel costs herself, she is gathering sponsorship for Help for Heroes.

The postal worker and retained firefighter, leaves the UK on December 19 and will be away three weeks. She’ll fly to Bahrain, on to Kathmandu for a day then to Lukla to start the expedition.

Her group will spend around seven hours a day walking, with time, including Christmas day, spent acclimatising at the village of Namche Bazaar. They should arrive at base camp for New Year’s Eve, camping in -15C.

A personal challenge turned into a fundraising one, after Sally’s scheduled Annapurna trip got cancelled due to lack of people. She asked colleagues if they would cover her, and they agreed.

She said. “It was a matter of whether I could get the time off, so thanks to them for working their days off on what is the worst week of the year for posties.”

Help for Heroes is close to Sally’s heart, as she has got friends in 40 Commando who have just returned from Afghanistan.

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“Troops come back maimed and get limited amounts of help,” she said. “Seeing those guys running across the US with their prosthetic limbs was awe-inspiring; I thought if they can do that, I can surely climb to base camp with all my limbs.”

She estimated if everyone on her postal round donated �1, she could raise �2,000. People have already been generous, giving as much as �10.

Sally, also a part-time complementary therapist at the Hospiscare day care centre at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Wonford, spent 10 years travelling the globe from the age of 18. To sponsor Sally visit