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Headmaster treks to South Pole for Bliss

03 February 2015

A Headmaster has completed a ‘lifelong dream’ by trekking to the South Pole, raising nearly £12,000 for Bliss.

Julian Thomas, Headmaster at Caterham School, decided to raise money for Bliss after his two godsons, Oscar and Daniel, were born prematurely.

He said, “The premature birth of a child is an emotional and frightening experience. Bliss, provided exceptional help and support to our friends when they most needed it.”

Julian set off in late November and reached the pole on Saturday 10 January, after a 950 km journey over one of the coldest, highest, driest and windiest places on the planet. Only around 300 people have completed the trek without mechanical or wind assistance since 1911.

He said of the journey, “It is difficult to put into words quite how significant a life event this expedition has been for me. It was extremely tough – far tougher, physically and mentally, than I had ever imagined – and yet I would not have missed it for the world. Antarctica is awe-inspiring – a place like no other. It is a privilege simply to have spent so much time on this beautiful, fragile and largely untouched continent.”

The journey did not come without its challenges for Julian and his team. One of their team required a medical evacuation and another contracted a painful condition known as ‘polar thigh’ (a cold weather related skin rash).

Despite the obstacles, Julian said it was a life affirming and enhancing experience for the whole team. “I shall never forget the pure joy and excitement of arriving at the South Pole and celebrating with my teammates. I have been profoundly affected by the trip and I return to my “normal” life inspired and reenergised. I’m already planning my next adventure!”

You can still sponsor Julian by visiting his sponsorship page at


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