Travelling to the land of ice and snow with the Deaf explorer…..Oliver Westbury

Oliver Westbury inspiring terptree’s Communication Professionals
The terptree team and lovely Communication Professionals were lucky enough to be witness an inspirational presentation by Oliver Westbury, Deaf explorer.
This was at our first in the series of events for our Communication Professionals and was well received and well attended.
Oliver took us through his challenge experiences, telling us about how him and a group of mates toyed with idea of completing a marathon, which he then trained for and completed.  He decided that he would not do any further events – but then went on to complete another marathon and another marathon, until he realised he was hooked!
Oliver has completed many challenges and now is at a total of 16 marathons!  His goal is to run 26 marathons – so he is already well on his way!
Not only has Oliver shown strength of character and persistence with his marathon-running, but he was made history by being the first deaf man to reach the North pole.
In order to take part i the challenge he had to raise a total of £27,000 – which he decided to raise for National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).  He raised the money in a variety of ways, including holding a New Years Eve party, a traditional barn dance and through not shaving his beard!

Olivers beard

Oliver suggested to friends that if he raised a certain amount of money, he would keep growing his beard for 30 days – the money kept rolling in so he kept growing it – in total for 180 days!
Travelling 70 miles to reach the North Pole, in temperatures as low as -30C – he reached his goal – on top of the world on 21 April 2008.  On being asked – what did you think about during all of that walking, he answered “I am not really sure what I thought about, I guess that I just carried on walking and enjoyed the views of the snow!”
He told the group of only half of the team reaching 90n; and how one of the team experienced so much pain; with feet full of blisters but soldiered on focused on the end-goal.  Also of meeting a member of another group before they set-up and then back in the Russian base camp afterwards with frostbite – where all of the muscles, tendons and blood cells freeze – he had to be rushed immediately to hospital to try and save his fingers.
Oliver was relieved to have not come in contact with a polar bear, as they were warned this could happen.  Two of the guides had rifles on the trek to ensure that the group stayed safe; and the previous group had encountered polar bears on their challenge.

What next for Oliver….

“well, my wife said that she is not sure about me going to the South Pole for my next challenge; but I cannot do the North Pole and not the South Pole!”


Victoria, terptree Director
talking to the group

Thank you to all of our lovely Communication Professionals for attending. It was lovely to put faces to names and to make some new connections.

We have uploaded photos from our event onto facebook to inspire you all to attend the next one – watch this space!

Comments from some of those who attended

“I just wanted to say a big thank you for last night. It was lovely to eventually meet all of you; and I really appreciate the gift bag and amazing food that was provided.
Really looking forward to continuing to work with you.”  Karen Jenkins, RSLI

“I wanted to say thank you for setting up the event. I was pleased to be able to meet the team; and also see Oliver again after so long.  It was also good to get together with terps old and new and exchange stories and events in our lives.  I look forward to both similar events and booking onto some of your training courses.”  Kevin Smith, RSLI