Entrepreneur whose brother-in-law was stabbed to death will climb Antarctica’s highest peak to raise funds to help combat gun and knife crime

To help tackle London’s gun and knife crime epidemic, Henry Smith is going to extremes.

The property developer, whose brother-in-law was stabbed to death, is heading far south, to Antarctica, to climb the continent’s highest peak.

For 10 days in January, the 56-year-old will climb Mount Vinson, which is as tall as Kilimanjaro - 5,000 metres - in 24-hour daylight, minus 45 degree temperatures and high speed winds, all while carrying 30-40 kilograms worth of gear.

“We’ll be going for eight to ten hours a day, burning probably 6,000 calories,” he said.

Mr Smith started Wickers Charity, based in Hackney, to help prevent young people from getting on the wrong path that could potentially lead them to violence.

His trip to Antarctica is a bid to raise £75,000 towards the cause. His JustGiving page has already raised £67,000 of his target, which he hopes to hit before he leaves on January 4th.

Aside from the weather and the gruelling physical demands of climbing in Antarctica, the one thing Mr Smith is most worried about is sweating.

“The biggest thing is being prepared and layering your clothes, because you have to be careful not to over sweat - you don’t want to be wearing wet clothes because that leads to colds or pneumonia,” he said.

Mr Smith decided to do the climb, which he will attempt with five other people as well as two guides, only four months ago and has been training for just two.

He has travelled to France and Italy to prepare for the conditions but he will also be drawing on previous experience completing similar feats in extreme places.

“I went to the North Pole, part way to the last degree, so about 60 miles over five days,” he said.

“That was pretty exciting, a polar bear came into camp looking for food and in order to get it to go away we had to fire a shotgun over its head.”

While polar bears are not a problem in Antarctica, the team will face more insidious risks such as the cold and hidden, deep crevices.

As well as the physical challenges, Mr Smith will need to overcome huge mental challenges, but he said making his charity successful is a strong motivator.

Born and bred in East London, he has witnessed the rise in knife crime and stabbings throughout the city, but particularly around where he lives.

His charity aims to intervene at an early stage in the lives of young people who may be experiencing hardship or trauma, preventing them from giving up on their ambitions and falling into a violent culture.

“They might come from a broken family, where one parent is absent and another can’t cope, and there is a lack of support for these youngsters," he said. 

“They get put into a box and told: ‘you’re not going to make anything of your life’ but they need to know that they are capable,” Mr Smith said.

“It is working but it is not a quick process because you’ve got to keep repeating to them that there is hope and they can make a success of their life.”

Charity Crime Antarctica Henry Smith ,Wickers Charity
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
2 views in july
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

An EE customer has said she was stalked by an ex-partner who worked at the firm, after he accessed her personal data without permission. Francesca Bonafede's number was switched to a new handset and her address and bank details were accessed. She said the company failed to take the data breach seriously and she had to involve police. EE "sincerely apologised" to Ms Bonafede, and said the employee no longer worked for the company. 'They didn't seem concerne...
West Ham say they have handed over all of their evidence to the police after completing a "thorough and immediate" investigation into racist abuse shouted at Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. The incident happened during Monday's 1-1 draw at London Stadium. Egypt striker Salah, 26, was filmed on a mobile phone from a section of home supporters as he was taking a corner. "The club is unequivocal in its stance - such abuse will not be tolerated," West Ham said in a...
A body seen in the wreckage of the plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been recovered, investigators said. Remotely operated Vehicles (ROVs) were used in ‘challenging conditions’ to pull the body out of the water ‘in as dignified a way as possible’ the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said on Wednesday night. The body is being taken to Portland to be passed over to the Dorset coroner for examination, t...
The US president, who has repeatedly criticised the military alliance, would meet with heads of state in London, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday. It would be Mr Trump's second visit to Britain since his election, having jetted in amid swathes of protest last July. I am pleased to announce that allies have agreed that the next meeting of Nato heads of state and government will take place in London in December 2019. The meeting...
Rolf Harris was jailed for five years and nine months in 2014 but released on licence in May 2017 Credit: PA Officials are investigating a report that disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris walked onto the grounds of a primary school and waved at pupils. The convicted sex offender went onto the premises of Oldfield Primary School near his home in Bray, Maidenhead, to talk to a sculptor working in the grounds, the Daily Mirror reported. Harris, who was jailed fo...
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a teenager was stabbed to death. Police and London Ambulance Service were called to Wolsey Court, off Westbridge Road in Battersea, at 7.52pm on Tuesday following reports of a stabbing. A 19-year-old man was found with stab injuries and died at the scene at 8.36pm despite paramedics battling to save his life. The stabbing took place less than half a mile from Prince George's primary school, Thomas's B...
The girl, who has been named Roman by nurses, was found at around 10pm on Thursday in the park in Roman Road in East Ham.  Police said Roman was wrapped in a white towel and placed in the shopping bag on the ground next to a bench in the small children's play park.  The baby was rushed to hospital where she was in a stable condition on Friday morning, the Metropolitan Police said.  Roman was discovered by grandmother-of-one Rima Zvaliauskiene, 50, just 100...
The operation to recover the doomed plane carrying Emiliano Sala off Guernsey could be hampered by days of poor weather as the man brought in by the footballer's family to find him said he could be in the wreckage. The English Channel is being battered by torrential ran, 40mph winds and 10ft waves with the poor conditions set to continue - and worsen - until the end of the week, MailOnline can reveal today. The families of the £15million striker and his pi...
Train passengers are being warned of major disruption after overhead electric wires were damaged near one of London’s busiest stations. Network Rail said services travelling to and from Liverpool Street could be cancelled or revised until 8am on Thursday. Wires between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green, east London, were damaged, with the outage impacting Greater Anglia, London Overground, Stansted Express and Transport for London Rail services. Passenger...