Rehabilitation Through Adventure

Aconcagua – The Team

Brendan Davies
Brendan joined the Royal Marines at the age of 19. 
After successfully completing 30 weeks training he then served at 40 Commando where he was deployed on operational duties in Northern Ireland and The Adriatic. Other deployments included desert training in Oman and arctic warfare training in Norway.
Whilst serving in the Royal Marines Brendan suffered serious spinal injuries which resulted in hospitalisation and a lengthy period of rehabilitation. Following his discharge he suffered with periods of depression and anxiety having left a job he loved. These were his dark times and this was to shape his next few years where he was forced to seek help and treatment
Brendan has a passion for the outdoors and spends much of his spare time on the Brecon Beacons. Since leaving the Royal Marines he has worked for the local authority and is a proud dad of two sons.
Al Hewett

Al joined the Royal Marines in 1998 and passed for duty in 2000 after 18 months in training, having broken both legs during the Commando tests and suffering the loss of his father to cancer, which he admits was a very difficult time for him.It took years to fully rehabilitate his leg but Al continued to serve and has completed almost 20 years of service, inclusive of six operational deployments to Afghanistan within a multitude of command roles both within the Royal Marines and Special Forces Support Group, and further deployments to Iraq and Northern Ireland.  

Al deployed to Afghanistan in 2006/2007 for Operation Herrick 5 which was a particularly tough tour where he lost many of his friends and it was for actions during this deployment that saw him awarded the Military Cross. In 2010, during Operation Herrick 12, Al was injured in an IED blast suffering permanent hearing loss and fragmentation injuries. In 2016 he was knocked off his bike whilst cycling to work which left him traumatised and Al continues to work on his recovery.

Having left school with no formal qualifications, whilst serving he has gained 10 GCSE’s, 4 A levels, a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree in leadership and management amongst numerous sporting and adventure training qualifications. He is currently the Unit Logistics Officer at CTCRM and lives in Devon with his wife and beautiful daughter Arabella.

Al has been a long term fan of 65DN and has supported Rich from the Greenland Expedition to date, he very much looks forward to joining 65DN on the Aconcagua expedition.

Jason Gillespie

Jason joined the 1st Battalion of the 22nd Cheshire regiment in 2007 aged 17. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 on Herrick 12. During this long, very busy and difficult tour Jason sustained injuries and had to be medically evacuated.

In 2013 Jason was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) soon after being medically discharged due to his injuries. He continues to have treatment but, after a long and slow process, feels that he is finally moving in the right direction.

Cycling has become a big part of Jason’s life both physically and mentally and he recently completed the Raid 17 challenge with the 65DN team. He wants to show others that, despite the challenges he faces, it is possible to use the things that have altered his life and turn them into positives.

Danny Claricoates

Danny joined the Royal Marines in 2003. On completion of training he was drafted to 42 Commando RM just outside of Plymouth and quickly specialised as a Reconnaissance Operator.

Danny deployed to Afghanistan in 2006 for Operation Herrick 5 and it was for actions during this deployment that saw him awarded the Military Cross. Once home and after a second deployment to Norway he was drafted to Stonehouse Barracks, also in Plymouth, to join Brigade Patrol Troop. Danny quickly re-deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Herrick 9 this time with troop being part of the larger Brigade Reconnaissance Force. It was during this tour Danny witnessed an event which, along with events from his first tour, would see him being diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Danny was medically discharged in 2011.

He now spends his time working on his own business delivering outdoor activities to young people as well as taking part in outdoor freelance work. Danny successfully summited Kilimanjaro in February 2016 and Mt. Vinson in January 2017 with the team of 65 Degrees North. 

Richard Morgan

Rich is a former Royal Marine Commando, who served at 40 Commando amongst other units, he deployed and was trained in Arctic and desert warfare and survival.He led Heroes Challenge UK; a UK endurance record that set a British first; an endurance record completed over 10 days. He went on to lead the five-week expedition that saw Peter Bowker become the ‘First Amputee’ to cross the Greenland ice cap unsupported!

He has since led an expedition to summit Mount Kilimanjaro which achieved a full team summit success and, in January 2017, he stood on the summit of the ‘Top of the Bottom of the World’ when he led an unsupported team to climb Mt Vinson, Antarctica’s highest peak. He has led training packages on the Mont Blanc Massif in preparation for Antarctica and Aconcagua with the 65DN support team.