Almost £20m Raised for Charity
Since his early days as an explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes has kept charity close to his heart.
His first official charity journey was 1992’s fateful Antarctic expedition with Dr Michael Stroud, which raised £4.2 million for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Since then, Sir Ranulph has raised multiple tens of millions for various charities. In fact, JustGiving named him the UK’s top celebrity fundraiser in 2010.
But not only does Sir Ranulph push the limits of what the human body can withstand, he also helps to fund research into making the lives of those who can’t climb mountains a little easier. Says Lee Dainty from the MS Society: “Sir Ranulph’s fundraising laid the foundations for our current research programme, which has gone on to make ground-breaking discoveries which are bringing us closer to an end to MS.” Sir Ranulph has also raised more than £8m in aid of the Marie Curie cancer charity, which, in the words of Chief Executive Dr Jane Collins, is “an incredible accomplishment”.
Charity is important to Sir Ranulph because he knows more than most what can happen when our body begins to weaken. In 2005, two years after heart surgery, he had to abort an attempt to conquer Everest within 300m of the summit after experiencing chest pains; in 1996, a second attempt to walk to the South Pole solo was stopped after a kidney stone attack. He’s also reached into Arctic waters to regain supplies that had fallen off the sledge - the exposure to temperatures of -63C saw his fingers turn ivory white and immovable; he cut off the resulting frostbitten tips with a hacksaw.
Sir Ranulph not only raises money for charities through his expeditions, he also lends his name and time. He’s a research ambassador for the British Heart Foundation because he knows first-hand what happens when our hearts give out - just three months after having an emergency heart bypass in Bristol, Sir Ranulph ran seven marathons in seven days on all seven continents to raise money for the BHF.
We say all of this tireless work deserves a toast. Raise your glass of Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ Great British Rum and let’s give thanks for the efforts of this legend.