CADET ANGUS LAPSLIE’S TALES OF THE HIGH SEAS ... ........3 SUMMER 2014 CITY OF EDINBURGH UOTC - EX NORTHERN TARTAN DIVE..4,5 INTO FOCUS: PHIL NEAME......6 4 PARA ON TWO WHEELS.....7 Summer Newsletter SIN C E 1992 W E H AVE SU PPO RT ED OVER 20,000 C AD E T S AN D R ESER VIST S T O U ND ERT AK E EXPED IT IO NS AN D ADVENTUROUS TRAINING THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. New Trustees Appointed Since the publication of our last newsletter, quite a lot has happened within the Trust. We have reluctantly said farewell to Group Captain Richard Mighall OBE who has stepped down as a Trustee after over 20 years valuable service to the Trust. During much of that time he chaired the committee that reviewed applications for grants to unit expeditions. We thank him warmly for his tireless efforts, and we wish him well for the future. The Trust motto is ‘To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield’ and we have developed ambitious plans to grow significantly the support for expeditions that we provide, particularly for cadets, by the Trust’s 25th anniversary in 2017. To help us move forward, we have since successfully sought and found two new Trustees to augment our team. Our first new appointment was Dr Rod Stables. Rod has a longstanding relationship with the Trust as one of the team members of Exercise Darc Star, the TA winter expedition to Everest in 1992, which led to the formation of the Ulysses Trust. Dr Rod Stables is a leading cardiologist within the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, and he brings an array of expedition and management experience to the Trust. The other appointee to our Board of Trustees is Sarah Rawlings who many will know as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Sarah Rawlings at the helm of The Swan in the Norwegian Fjords. Highlands RFCA. She has a long-running interest in expeditioning and outdoor challenging pursuits, particularly in relation to the development of young people. She also has useful fundraising experience, and will be a valuable regional ambassador for the Trust - particularly within Scotland. We have also brought on board some additional Trust advisors and we especially welcome James Cleverly TD AM as President of a Volunteer Fund Raising Group that we have set up. James is a member of the London Assembly and also Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. He was previously OC 266 (Para) Bty RA (V). Another important step has been a national survey about Cadet adventurous training that we have recently undertaken, revealing a host of useful information which will help shape the implementation of our Business Plan through to 2017 and beyond. Finally, we have selected the 2013 winners of our Best Expedition Awards (more information overleaf) and are now preparing for the annual awards ceremony in October. There’s never a dull moment at the Ulysses Trust! Dr Rod Stables on the slopes of Everest during Ex Darc Star. And a yak. Chairman’s Comment I was privileged to read the nominations for the Ulysses Trust annual awards and, to use my offspring’s expression, was ‘well impressed’. It is clear that despite leaner financial times, units are still providing their personnel with the opportunity to participate in challenging expeditions and activities – and long may it continue! That was the good news. The not so good news is that only a relatively small number of cadets, in particular, are being given this opportunity and I want to discuss this further. In recent months the Ulysses team members have shared a concern about the cadet numbers participating in expeditions, noting we have supported only a very small minority of the cadet population. However, we were unsure why. To fill this knowledge gap, we surveyed the cadet units and the outcome was interesting to say the least. We received 551 replies to our survey, sent from all sections of the cadet community, including CCF units. In terms of conclusions, we found that: Adventurous Training (AT) is very important for recruitment and retention; Many units were unable to engage in AT without our assistance; Units were not aware of the opportunities available to them; and, The barriers that stop units undertaking AT include a lack of expertise, a burdensome approval process (and a risk averse chain of command) and affordability. As a result of the survey we shall now be working with the command chain to see how matters can be improved. Ulysses Trust Awards Each year we examine all the expeditions that we have supported throughout the previous year and select those that we consider are the best examples that epitomise the spirit of all that the Ulysses Trust endeavours to achieve in supporting adventurous training activity for young people. On another tack, we have looked recently at the activities we have been supporting and have decided to be more focused on what benefits we are trying to achieve. In particular, we are now looking to support expeditions and activities that develop individuals’ leadership, teamwork and confidence primarily, and initiative, self discipline and judgement at a secondary level. Guidance on how this will proceed will be included in our instructions for applications and reports. To our benefactors, many, many thanks for your generous assistance and my Trustee colleagues and I hope you will continue supporting the Ulysses Trust. If you haven’t supported us in the past, do please consider helping us by providing expertise, time or a financial donation. Your contribution could make a real difference to the lives of young people, many from poorer backgrounds. Finally, if any of you are considering an expedition, we are standing-by to assist. There is funding available and the expertise is at hand to help you with drawing together either an expedition or adventurous activity. Do not be afraid of the prospect we are here to help you through the process! AVM Nick Kurth CBE FRGS Chairman of Trustees This year we were privileged to support a number of expeditions that went above and beyond both in terms of the challenge undertaken and the outcomes achieved. It was not an easy decision however after much debate we have selected the following as the winners of the Ulysses Trust awards for the best expeditions of 2013. Best Volunteer Reserve Expedition Winners: 4 PARA Expedition: Ex Black Viking Activity: Climbing / Trekking Location: Lofoten Islands, Norway Best UOTC Expedition Winners: East Midlands UOTC Expedition: Ex Dragon Alpaca Activity: High Altitude Mountaineering Location: Cordillera Blanca, Peru Best Cadet Expedition Winners: Gwent and Powys ACF Expedition: Ex Snowdonia Start Activity: Climbing Location: Snowdonia Many congratulations are due to all winners for their exceptional performance, but we would also like to say well done to all units who participated in adventurous training throughout the year. Our annual awards ceremony takes place this year at the HAC in London in October. A full summary of the winning citations and the runners up, together with photographs of the presentation ceremony will be in the next edition of this newsletter. Pull up a bollard, shipmates.... ...And read Cadet Angus Lapslie’s account of life on the high seas. Picture the scene. It is the middle of the night, and, just off the southwest coast of Scotland, a lone yacht is struggling through the waves. The wind is a steady Beaufort Force 7; in the United States, that is when the Coastguard issues a small craft warning; in Canada it is merely described as Strong. Over here, in the UK, however, we call it a Near Gale. The yacht in question was HMSTC Endeavour, based in Gosport, and, at that point in time, I was in my cabin, trying to get some sleep. With less than three months since I had joined the CCF, I applied to join a CCF RN/RM expedition to deliver Endeavour, a 67ft, steel hulled Challenger 67 yacht from Gosport to Inverness. As I thought that every Cadet in the country would want a chance to sail in excess of 800 nautical miles, it was a great surprise when I found out that I had been selected. After participating in the compulsory Sea Survival training at Gosport in January, I arrived at HMS Hornet full of anticipation on the 7th of March. I needn’t have worried. The crew, compromising of the Skipper, Paul Molyneaux, the Mate, Peter Weeks, and seven other CFAVs, made me feel at home almost immediately. For a 15 year old of only a day, I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of crew members. Even though I was the only cadet on board, and thus I had no one remotely near my age group, I was still made to feel part of the crew from the word ‘go’. It was under clear, blue skies that we left Portsmouth on the 8th of March, and the clouds didn’t return until after we had left Dublin. An overnight sail to Falmouth was our introductory passage, followed by the 36 hour leg towards Dublin. Out in St George’s Channel, at about 0200, one of the best moments of the trip occurred. For half an hour, in the middle of the night, we had a pod of dolphins follow us. As a morale booster, halfway through the 00000400 watch, there could have been nothing better. Having spent a day sightseeing in Dublin, we then set off for Douglas, on the Isle of Man. This leg, taking less than a day, was pretty uneventful, and we had a flat calm all the way. However, it did contain one of the most challenging (at least, for me) moments of the entire trip. I was at the helm as we took Endeavour into Douglas harbour in thick fog. Take it from me; navigating by a temperamental lighthouse is not easy. We only spent 18 hours in Douglas, and so we set off at lunchtime the next day. With a fair wind and clear skies I thought the sailing until we got to Oban would be pleasant. That night, with a Force 7 in our face and a seven knot tide against us, making the boat average 1.5 knots over ground, I was proven wrong. There is a lighthouse on the Mull of Galloway that the Blue and Green Watches never want to see again! near Corryvreckan (the second largest whirlpool in the world), we arrived in Oban. The Gateway to the Islands made a pleasant change from a rolling and pitching boat, even if I did initially wonder why the ground wasn’t slanted at a 20 degree heel and why I wasn’t constantly getting bombarded by spray. The next day we left Oban for a very short sail five miles up the coast to Dunstaffnage. The weather was Scottish, to say the least, but this emphasized the bleak and majestic scenery around us. Having spent the night in a marina with brilliant showers, we left early the next morning for Fort William, and the Caledonian Canal. Scotland is beautiful. And, living there, I would say that it is at its best in the sun. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any. When I woke up the next Through the Caledonian Canal, the morning having attempted to weather was interesting at best (45 have a good night’s sleep, we knot gusts on Loch Ness are interreally hadn’t gone far overnight. esting, aren’t they?) and at long last, However, by the time I had come we arrived in Inverness, where, for a off Mother Watch that afternoon, few blessed seconds, the sun did come the tide had turned and we had out. Finally, it was down to the menial both the tide and the wind with task of cleaning the boat for the next us. Doing 15 knots over the crew to take her on to Stavanger. I was ground doesn’t happen very on that crew, but, as they say, that’s often in a Challenger 67. another story. After quite a nice, if not wet (we were by now in Scottish waters) sail, along with a hurried sail drop Exercise Northern Tartan Dive Many expeditions that we support are mountaineering and climbing based, but we also support expeditions that undertake different kinds of challenges. Here a group of Officer Cadets from the City of Edinburgh University Officer Training Corps took on the challenges of the deep in the waters off Cyprus. Exercise Northern Tartan Dive was a ten day sub-aqua diving expedition to Cyprus from 22nd April 2014 to 1st May 2014. Personnel included eight Officer Cadets and one Group A Officer from the City of Edinburgh University Officer Training Corps, along with one civilian, one regular Cpl and one Captain from outside units. The total expedition strength was twelve. The aim of the expedition was to develop the OCdt’s leadership and confidence and to also gain the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) Ocean Diver qualification. Prior to deploying to Cyprus, a weekend of pre-deployment training was conducted in the UK. This was done in order to conduct dive theory lessons and practical pool lessons and to also ensure all expedition participants were fit and able to take part in all activities in Cyprus. The lessons conducted in the UK meant that we achieved the Ocean Diver qualification early in Cyprus and we could then do more fun and challenging dives while also working towards the next qualification. Our first and second days were spent sorting out the large amounts of administration that accompanies scuba diving. The purpose of these dives was to get used to being underwater with all the equipment on again. During these dives we practiced mask removal and clearing; use of alternate air source as donor (“hero”) and recipient (“victim”); development of buoyancy control, finning ability, and use of pilotage. We began day three at Dhekelia Jetty, focusing on basic diving skills and emergency procedures. Specifically, we practiced ‘mini’ controlled buoyant lifts. In the afternoon we conducted a recreational dive off Green Bay. On this dive there were a number of statues under the water, and the team took the opportunity for some photos. This was the first ten meter dive. The fourth day included our first dive at Chapel Rock to twenty meters which is our maximum allowed depth as Ocean Divers. Twenty meter dives require a precise ascent rate and safety stop three meters from the surface in order to prevent Decompression Injury. 22 The number of years that the Ulysses Trust has been supporting adventurous training expeditions. £ £1.9M The amount provided in funding contributions to support Cadet and Reserve unit expeditions since our formation in 1992. On day five, we experienced our first boat dive. Boats offer an excellent ability to visit isolated dive sites which other divers would find difficult to access. We made our dives at Fraggle Rock to a depth of twenty meters putting our deep dive drills into practice. After five days diving, it’s important practice that a day has to be taken off to let the body recover from all the different pressures it is put through with scuba-diving. Therefore, the sixth day was spent on a cultural visit around the ruins of Achilles’ house. Day seven was our first day diving on the Zenobia and can certainly be considered a highlight of the expedition. We explored the maze of rooms inside the wreck and indulged in feeding the copious amounts of marine life that swarmed around us, with sandwiches that we had stuffed somewhat unceremoniously into our buoyancy control jackets. The last three days consisted of diving the same dive sites but now to a greater depth. Another highlight was achieved on the evening on the ninth day when we conducted a night dive. This was spectacular. Divers are guided by torch and glow sticks. At night there is far more wildlife to see, and you get an opportunity to see wildlife which are nocturnal. We saw eels, cuttlefish, and octopus (all of which were more active than when we had seen them in the day). Swashing fins which disturbed bioluminescent plankton also created quite a show. The expedition was highly successful and immensely enjoyable. The success of the trip has convinced the Commanding Officer to allow a similar expedition for next year which the OCdt’s are excited about. On behalf of my fellow expedition members, I would like to thank the Ulysses Trust for their support. This expedition couldn’t have been successful without the support from the trust and we look forward to a continued healthy relationship. Who Do You Think You Are? We put Ulysses Trust Founder Phil Neame under the spotlight... Beer or Champagne? I’ve never really gone for champagne, so a fine, hoppy, Kentish ale, followed by a good vintage port. That was the obligatory booze for the Faversham Farmers Club dinners (the oldest remaining dining club in the country), of which my father was a member. Wine was not allowed, to stop members competing with serving ever more extravagant wines – such good common sense governance! What is your role within the UT? I was a founder of the Trust, which was set up initially to get funds for a TA attempt at the first British ascent of Everest in winter that I led, in 1992. With sufficient funds to enable the charity to continue - thanks to many people, but notably a remarkable donation from Flemings Bank arranged by Ian Hannam I became a Trustee in 1993. David Mallam, the Secretary, effectively ran the Trust almost single-handedly until 2008, when he retired. Since then, it has required a team effort, and I stepped into an executive capacity in 2011, to help primarily with the fund-raising. With an ambitious Business Plan that I helped develop at the start of the year with Nick Kurth, a successful fundraising effort is ever more important, and I’m pleased we now have a team specifically focused on that. What is your favourite outdoor experience? Mountaineering, followed now by off-piste skiing and sailing (the latter not very well!) In terms of an individual outdoor experience, probably the first ascent of Lamjung Himal (22,990 ft) in the Nepalese Himalaya – nothing beats a first ascent. Although as a confirmed diplomat, I should perhaps say being part of the first Western expedition to China in 1981 to try and climb the highest unclimbed mountain in China, Mt Jiazi, as it was also my honeymoon! We failed to climb the mountain, discovered a nearby unclimbed peak was in fact higher - but it was a great honeymoon, and I’m still married to the same gal… Everest or K2? Neither – nothing beats doing something big and unclimbed. If I have to choose between the two, once it would have been Everest, but it’s become such a degraded and shabby experience, so now K2. Who do you admire and why? Popeye, but if you are looking for someone real, my wife – for coping with, and refining, me for over 30 years. I would also like to add my father – he had an extraordinary life, getting a VC in WW1, a Gold medal in the 1924 Paris Olympics, If you could be any fictional character in a film or book, who would it be and why? Popeye. I respect the fact that he can keep down more spinach and grow bigger muscles than me! I love his devoted quest for his girl Olive Oyl, his battles with his rival and nemesis Bluto for Olive, and his constant ability, not without guile and cunning, to bounce back from adversity. What do you do in your spare time? What spare time? There’s always challenges to take on. And finally, if they made a movie of your life, who would play you? Sandra Bullock. But if she wasn’t up to it, Tommy Lee Jones – he’s laconic, selects great roles, and is cool as a good guy. Phil Neame, after several hours of interrogation. a big game hunter, explorer, a general and PoW in WW2. He packed it all in, but he really was one of the most self-effacing people I have known, would never ‘hold forth,’ and seemed to convey the values of Kipling’s wonderful poem “If”, which seemed to me pretty good to try and follow. And, I know he would have supported wholeheartedly what the Ulysses Trust is trying to do – bringing challenge and adventure to enrich young lives. List the five others you would like to see at your supper table? My wife and children would account for three, so that just leaves another two. If the dead were available, I’d be spoilt for choice but I imagine they would struggle to make it. So, the Duke of Edinburgh for his risqué asides; and Bryan Ferry provided he sang for his supper! Otherwise, Arsene Wenger for his thoughtfulness and his ability to challenge, break the mould and get the best out of people. Thanks very much, Phil. You’re free to go. 4 Para Conquer The Hills Ex NORTHERN BLACK SPOKE was an Adventurous Training expedition to Southern Spain that took place in May 2014. The exercise was run by 4 PARA, but benefitted from integrating soldiers from the Regular Parachute Battalions; this really helped to generate a mix of experience and provided another good opportunity to forge relationships with those colleagues that 4 PARA will work with on the High Readiness Reserve Operational commitment. There are several keen Mountain Bikers in 4 PARA, who have been riding together informally for years. With the addition of Mountain Biking as a Joint Services recognised AT activity in 2011, there had been a palpable desire to take the bikes abroad and bring some fresh faces into the 4 PARA Mountain Bike scene. Southern Spain was the ideal environment considering the consistent weather, forgiving trails and abundance of mountains! After a long night of bike assembling, testing and tweaking, the team arose at 0530 to get ahead of the scorching Spanish Sun, heading into the forested mountains above Malaga to take full advantage of the high but cool sweeping fire roads and easier stretches of single track to hone our skills. The team then took a day to conduct some hillwalking scaling the 1900m of a local Peak. This was a great opportunity to stretch our legs and allowed us a little more time to talk than when screaming down a hillside at Mach 5! The second riding phase of the exercise saw several of the riders conducting their MBCUK Trail Cycle Leader qualification. They’d had a few days to pick up hints and tips from the three qualified leaders and it was now up to them to manage the groups progress and most importantly be able to relocate at a moments notice. This can be a real challenge for novice Leaders as waymarkers and ground features are easily missed when juggling a group, navigation, and of course one’s own personal riding skills concurrently. Added to this challenge were a variety of mechanical problems for them to solve, some simulated, some genuine. Happily, the five who put themselves forward for the assessment all passed with flying colours and are looking forward to leading trails on their return to 4 PARA. There was a real mix to the remainder of the rides as the Ex OIC turned to the more adventurous rides on his routecards; everything from the ‘high-five’ moments of Mijas (outskirts of Balamedena) to the epic 40km from the Sierra de la Nieves right onto the beach. While Mountain Biking is an exhilarating and testing activity, it comes with a heavy financial cost in the provision and maintenance of equipment. The exercise wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of RHQ Para Regt, HQ Sp Comd N and the Ulysses Trust, and the generous grants allowed a flexible travel plan to be devised. This meant that many more soldiers were able to attend than would have otherwise been the case. Contact Details We would like to thank... The Ulysses Trust relies entirely on donations to support Cadet and Reservist expeditions and adventurous training activity. Without your support many of the expeditions and adventurous training that we have supported simply wouldn’t have gone ahead at all. We would like to thank all our supporters for their generosity and their enthusiasm to enable young people to be all they can be. Should you feel that you or your organisation could work with us in making a difference for young people, and particularly in supporting Cadets who often have to scale the largest barriers to participation in adventurous training, please get in touch. We would be delighted to hear from you. Don’t forget... We know it’s not the subject at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but your will is one of the most important documents that you will ever write. Not only does it contain a lasting record of your wishes for your loved ones, it also enables you to live on in the legacy that you give to others. That includes causes that are important to you. Leaving the Ulysses Trust a gift in your will is one of the most valuable and lasting ways that you can support us. It costs nothing during your lifetime, but will have a powerful impact for years to come. Thank you for remembering us. Our recent supporters include: Angus Allnatt Charitable Trust The Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers Army Sport Control Board The Astor Foundation The Baltic Exchange Berlin Infantry Brigade BJ Press Bravo Company, NW Area Royal Marines Cadets Capsule CRM Charles Littlewood Hill Trust Charlotte Bonham Carter Charitable Trust CHK Charities Limited The Worshipful Company of Dyers East Midlands RFCA Eranda Foundation Google Ian Hannam Highland RFCA The Honorable Artillery Company Intelligent Pelican Sir James Knott Trust Lowland RFCA The Worshipful Company of Management Consultants Mark Alsop Nuffield Trust Paul Orchard-Lisle PF Charitable Trust Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation Julian Radcliffe RAF Charitable Trust RFCA for Yorkshire and the Humber Wessex RFCA Westminster Foundation Trust Business Col (Ret’d) Nigel Thursby The Honorary Secretary The Cottage Patney Devizes Wiiltshire SN10 3RD [email protected] Tel: 01264 381264 Fundraising Jeremy Hurst Development Director 2 Clare Terrace Falmouth Cornwall TR11 3ES [email protected] Tel: 07970 988604 www.ulyssestrust.co.uk Reg’d Charity No 1012346 We Need 60 Seconds Of Your Time For a young person, adventurous training can be a life-changing experience. Here are three things that you could do in the next 60 seconds to help us to make a difference. 1. Visit our website at www.ulyssestrust.co.uk and make a donation. 2. Sign up to our Twitter or Facebook feeds - just search for Ulysses Trust - and start sharing our news with your contacts. 3. Visit Give As You Live at www.giveasyoulive.com and select the Ulysses Trust as your chosen charity. Online retailers will donate to us and it won’t cost you a penny.
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