Father and son to 'castaway' in support of Royal British Legion

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 August 2019

Father and son Chris and Elijah Gates are doing a castaway challenge. Ref exe 33 19TI 0080. Picture: Terry Ife

Father and son Chris and Elijah Gates are doing a castaway challenge. Ref exe 33 19TI 0080. Picture: Terry Ife

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An Exmouth father and son are willingly spending five days in an unknown remote location with only the bare essentials for charity.

Father and son Chris and Elijah Gates are doing a castaway challenge. Ref exe 33 19TI 0079. Picture: Terry IfeFather and son Chris and Elijah Gates are doing a castaway challenge. Ref exe 33 19TI 0079. Picture: Terry Ife

Chris Gates, 48, and his son Elijah, 16, are taking part in the Royal British Legion's survival castaway challenge next month.

Armed with only the bare essentials and some survival kit, they will have to fend for themselves and sleep out under the stars for five days on a mystery beach or island near the south coast of the UK.

Mr Gates said he found the challenge online and did not think he and Elijah would get the chance to take part.

He said: "My son is coming up to 17 so it's nice to get the opportunity to do something like this with him.

"In that environment you make new friendships with people."

Exmouth Community College pupil Elijah has taken on the gruelling Ten Tors challenge on Dartmoor for the last two years and is part of the RAF Air Training Corps.

This is the first time his dad has taken part in a challenge like this one.

Mr Gates, who is managing director of The Kitchen Studio, in Pound Lane, sees it as an opportunity to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.

He said: "Both Elijah and myself have a huge amount of gratitude to the men and women that over the years have selflessly given themselves to winning, protecting and maintaining the freedom we enjoy in this great nation.

"Since lots of World War One veterans have died the RBL do a good job of keeping the awareness of their sacrifice up.

"My generation is one of the last generations that will remember.

"I feel quite strongly we need to remember and honour those who died."

The adventure will start when participants gather at Sandbanks Hotel in Dorset at 7pm on Friday, September 20.

Mr Gates and his son, along with the rest of the group, will then get in boats to sail to the unnamed location where they will build natural shelters, demonstrate and learn survival skills, take part in life-raft survival and other challenges.

To donate to their challenge, visit their just giving page

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