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Adventurous Calne teen to turn mentor for Everest trek
10:00am Sunday 22nd September 2013 in News
A TEENAGER who drew inspiration to succeed from taking part in the televised Extreme Classrooms project is going on a new adventure, but this time as a mentor to the other students.
Calum Carter has been chosen to help guide 11 students with complex social and learning difficulties on the 15-day trek up Mount Everest.
The challenge, organised by The Springfields Academy in Calne, which Calum attended, is part of the Extreme Classrooms programme that is based on the belief that pupils achieve when they are pushed to their limits.
The group will brave cold weather and dizzying heights as it climbs to Mount Everest Base Camp at 17,600ft and on to the Kala Patthar summit at 18,200ft.
Calum, 16, of Minster Way, Calne, completed two previous challenges and on the latest one he will work with a team of celebrity mentors, including former England rugby union captain Lewis Moody and polar explorer Alan Chambers.
Calum said: “I feel very privileged to have been asked to be a mentor on this trek. They are putting a lot of trust in me. It’s only a year since I was the one being mentored.
“I got so much self-belief from doing the first two expeditions and they opened my eyes to the world. This time I’ll help others who might not be as strong.”
Mr Carter was diagnosed with severe dyslexia and ADHD at an early age and joined the Springfields Academy aged nine after receiving an exclusion from Frogwell Primary School.
Last summer he gained four GCSEs and now he is in the Bath Rugby Elite Development Squad. He plays for his county and has been asked to play for the Welsh Exiles.
Through the expedition he hopes to raise funds for the Dore Foundation, a charitable trust that provided him with a programme of physical exercise to help him focus at school.
Mr Carter said: “Before I started at Springfields I couldn’t even spell ‘the’. I could barely read at all, my co- ordination was really poor and I was disruptive.
“Joining Springfields and completing the Dore Programme changed my life, both academically and in sport.
“When I got my GCSE results this summer it was one of my proudest moments. I achieved a D grade in English and a C in science. That’s amazing for me.”
Mum Jane Carter said: “I just think he’s quite inspiring to children who are in that position. It shows that it doesn’t stop you. He’s just on the verge of a rugby career and it’s all down to him.”
Trystan Williams, principal of The Springfields Academy, said: “Calum stands shoulder to shoulder with all our mentors. He’s there on merit. He has come a long way and against the odds.”
To donate to the Dore Programme visit http://uk.virgin moneygiving .com/Calum Carter
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