Charles goes to the ends of the earth to raise money to raise money for dementia charity
TO say Charles Copeland is well-travelled would be an understatement. The 52-year-old, from Stockton, has already visited the Seven Wonders of the World, crossed Asia between its two widest points – a 6,000 mile journey – and been up Mount Everest.
He has also traversed both Polar and Antarctic Circles. In his flat a number of photos from his travels take pride of place, while a map of the world highlights the numerous places he has visited.
His latest expedition sees him undertaking an ‘Arctic Survival Challenge’ organised by a company called Intrepid Expeditions from January 14 to 21.
The aim is to raise money for the Cleveland Alzheimers Society, which operates a residential centre in Stockton, and follows the death of Mr Copeland’s mother, 82-year-old Audrey Dinsdale who passed away last November.
Mr Copeland, a father-of-two and former British judo champion, said: “I lost my mum to dementia and this is my contribution in terms of raising awareness, raising as much funds as possible and trying to make a difference.
“To watch someone fade day by day is heartbreaking as the disease takes hold. It strips people of their dignity and robs them of cherished memories.
“She gave me all the encouragement in the world to follow my dreams and this is my bit towards finding a cure for the disease that took her.”
Flying to Ostersund in Northern Sweden, before travelling onto Jamtland, about 100km south of the Arctic Circle, he will spend several days adapting and living in an environment where it is not unusual for temperatures to fall below 40C.
Last year he received training from ex-Royal Marines in survival techniques such as such as preventing cold weather injuries, constructing shelter and snowholes and how to read deep snow, which he hopes will be good preparation.
Mr Copeland, of Church Road, Stockton, who is a supermarket warehouse operative, has experienced many hairy moments on his travels and also suffered from frostbite.
He describes his sons, Ryan 24, and Joshua, 20, as his biggest fans. “They prefer beach holidays themselves, but they still follow my trips and each time I travel to a hostile place they use a GPS app to track my movements to within one metre,” he said.
Asked what inspires his wanderlust, he said: “I like a challenge and to push myself to step outside of my comfort zone.
“I have stood on all seven continents, Antarctica being the last one which I accomplished in 2014.
“In crossing Asia I used the Trans-Siberian Railway, road camels to go through Mongolia, went into Siberia on snow mobile, before going through the Gobi desert and into China. It was one hell of a journey. I was well tired when I returned back from that.”
To support Mr Copeland visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/charlescopeland