A sailor from Cardigan is plotting an escape from his shore-base in Cornwall to head for London by whatever means possible with the aim of raising as much money as he can for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC).
Leading Physical Trainer (LPT) Sion Jenkins is one of four sailors from HMS Raleigh who have signed up for the daring mission, starting on Wednesday 30 April. They plan to travel around 230 miles to the nation’s capital arriving at Twickenham by Saturday 3 May in time for the annual Royal Navy v Army rugby match; one of the highlights of the military sporting calendar.
Members of the public, businesses and organisations will be asked to set the team challenges along the way and donate to the charity by logging on to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EscapetoTwickenham.
The team will leave HMS Raleigh with just a sleeping bag, a water bottle and a change of clothes. They will be totally reliant on members of the public for transport, a place to stay each night and food.
LPT Jenkins said: “We’ve got no idea how we will get to London and what route to take. We will basically just follow the way the challenges take us. We’ll do anything to raise money for the charity, within reason. It could be something as simple as meeting the local Mayor for a cup of tea perhaps, to taking a photo at a local landmark or hitching a lift on a farm vehicle for example. We want people to be as imaginative as possible, but obviously the more obscure and difficult the challenge the more money we will be looking for as a donation.”
Members of the public will be able to follow the team’s progress on the Royal Navy’s Facebook page and will be able to set challenges as they make their way across the country. The first challenge will come from the Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh, Captain Bob Fancy, as the team slip out of the gate.
LPT Jenkins originally joined the Royal Navy as a marine engineer in 2005 and transferred to the PT branch in 2009. So far he has served on two warships and ashore at HM Naval Base Devonport. Highlights of his career include travelling the far-east at the age of 18 and representing the Royal Navy at Rugby Union. The 27-year-old was posted to HMS Raleigh in January 2014 and is part of the team who are responsible for taking new Naval recruits through the PT element of their basic training.
The former pupil of Cardigan Secondary School now lives in Plymouth with his partner Katie and daughter, Macie, aged two.
As the principal charity of the Royal Navy, the RNRMC focuses on the sailors and marines who wear the uniform today by helping to boost morale, improving facilities and easing the pressures of Service life. The charity also provides valuable funds for Naval and military charities that work with families and veterans.
The RNRMC has set sailors and Royal Marines ‘The road to Twickenham’ challenge to raise money for the charity. The group from HMS Raleigh have adapted this theme for their own ‘Escape to Twickenham’ event.