12 September 2017

Support wounded RBLI veteran who will tackle Everest this November

Disabled war veteran and sign maker in RBLI's social enterprise Anil Gurung is climbing to Mt Everest's Base Camp this November to raise support in aid of the Kent-based charity.

Former Gurkha Anil, who works in Britain's Bravest Manufacturing Company, was posted to fight alongside the British Army in Afghanistan in 2009 where, just 20 days before the end of his tour, he stepped on an IED resulting in the loss of his right leg below the knee.

The 29-year-old, originally from Nepal, then found work in BBMC, which employs more than 120 people - many of whom are veterans and 60% of whom are disabled. He will travel to his native country in November to take on the world’s highest mountain.

In 2014, Anil won gold for Great Britain in Sitting Volleyball at international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Service personnel - both serving and veterans - Invictus Games in London, beating USA 3-0 in the final. Last year he returned from the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando with a silver medal, losing out to USA in the final.

Anil, who now lives in Maidstone, said his challenge which will see him trek for up to 10 days and reach the height of 18,000 feet will be a great test of his character.

He added: “It will be a challenge for me physically and mentally. I am trying to build my muscles back up after taking time out after the Invictus Games and have been trekking across Kent and more recently in Snowdonia in Wales. But I need make sure I also am in the right state of mind.

“Royal British Legion Industries have been incredibly supportive of me since I first joined Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company and that hasn’t stopped with me taking on this challenge - they have been helping me every step of the way.”

“I owe a lot to RBLI, not only for helping me to stabilise my life after leaving the service, but also for encouraging me to take on these challenges and help me to prove to myself I can do them, so it’s very rewarding to know I’m giving something back.”

Anil kick-started his fundraising campaign last Friday with a traditional Nepalese curry night where up to 150 guests, many of whom come from Maidstone’s Nepalese community where Anil now lives, were entertained by traditional musicians, raising more than £2,000 towards his £15,000 target.

RBLI’s Chief Executive Steve Sherry OBE CMG, who served in the Army for 38 years, said: “Anil’s dedication to go above and beyond for RBLI is a testament to his great character.

“The money he raises will go directly to helping veterans and individuals with health conditions and disabilities receive the support they need to find sustained employment and get their lives back on track. We are immensely proud of Anil and wish him the very best of luck in his challenge.”

If you wish to learn more about Anil Gurung’s Everest challenge and to donate to his cause visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/anilgurung, and to find out more about the services of Royal British Legion Industries visit www.RBLI.co.uk