A SOLDIER from South Tyneside is preparing for a trip to the top of the world.
Sergeant Robbie Harmer is one of a four-strong Royal Dragoon Guards team aiming to trek to the North Pole – having already successfully completed an expedition to the South Pole.
The 32-year-old, who is from Whiteleas, in South Shields, aims to be part of the first group of injured soldiers from the same squadron, tour and regiment to make it to both poles.
The team, all members of the Royal Dragoon Guards, based in Catterick, North Yorkshire, are raising money for the ABF The Soldier’s Charity.
Sgt Harmer, who is now back to full health after being shot in the leg as he rescued a wounded Afghan builder in 2010, said: “We’ve all been training hard and doing different things in additional to our normal training, to help us get ready for the trip.
“The South Pole trip was great but it was really hard. At times, the temperatures dropped to -40C.
“But I’m feeling all right and looking forward to the challenge.”
The group will be one of five teams who will set off on the challenge on April 9.
In the meantime, as well as training, they are fundraising for the charity.
In 2012 as part of the expedition to the South Pole, which included multi- Olympic gold medal rower Matthew Pinsent, he helped to raise £1m for charity.
The South Pole trip was great, but it was really hard. At times, the temperatures dropped to -40C.Sergeant Robbie Harmer
They aim to complete the North Pole trek – which will see them cover 60 miles – in just over six days.
They will be joined by explorer David Hempleman-Adams, who also took part in the trek to the South Pole.
He was the first person in history to reach the geographic and magnetic North and South Poles, as well as climb the highest peaks in all seven continents,
Sgt Harmer added: “When we took part in the challenge in 2012 we helped raised £1m for the charity. This time it is a smaller expedition and we are aiming to raise £2,000.
“We’re really looking forward to it.”
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity provides financial assistance to all soldiers and their families when in need – such as debt relief, mobility assistance, education bursaries, carehome fees and respite breaks.
Sgt Harmer has been a member of the Royal Dragoon Guards since joining the army at the age of 17.
Anyone who would like to donate to the cause can do so by visiting the team’s just giving page HERE.