A BRAVE adventurer who lost three toes to frostbite during a freezing 300 mile trek has handed over close to £15,000 to a Colchester charity.

Nick Griffiths, 46, took part in the Yukon Arctic Ultra which is held in the depths of the Canadian winter where temperatures dropped to as low as minus 54 degrees.

The eight-day event - which has been dubbed the toughest ultra race in the world - left Nick with fourth degree frostbite.

Before he could fly back to the UK, Nick received cutting edge treatment in a Canadian intensive care unit which then continued at a burns unit in Wythenshaw Hospital in Manchester.

The toes he lost are now kept in his bedside cabinet and he plans to donate them to a Canadian bar which serves amputated toes as part of a bizarre cocktail served at the famous Downtown Hotel and their Sourtoe Cocktail Club.

Patrons are banned from swallowing the toes or they are fined $500 but must let it touch their lips as they sink the drink.

Former Royal Marine Nick now works for Care UK as a regional facilities manager and the company has selected the Rob George Foundation as their chosen charity.


Freezing - Nick Griffiths

Donations from the dad-of-two’s family, colleagues and friends helped raise £9,555 for the charity and Care UK’s Wellbeing Foundation added an additional £5,000.

Rob George, from Colchester, was a talented sportsman who died in 2013 due to acute myeloid leukaemia when he aged just 21.

His parents set up the charity to support young people diagnosed with a life-threatening condition but also those help those who show dedication or huge talent in sports of the performing arts.

Nick, was no stranger to endurance events having completed the 3,000-mile Talisker Transatlantic Rowing Challenge in 2013, said: “The Yukon race was a gruelling adventure, but it was wonderful to be able to hand over the cheque to a charity that does such brilliant work providing support to young people with life threatening or terminal illnesses, and supporting those who show exceptional commitment and ability in the worlds of sport or the performing arts.

“I am grateful to my family for their support in my recovery and to Care UK for the £5,000 donation to the fundraising total.”

Care UK’s head of facilities management Kevin Orme said: “Nick has a great reputation across the business in supporting our care homes by always putting the needs of our residents first.

“He is a very caring person, so it wasn’t a surprise when he told us he would like to raise money for the Rob George Foundation and we were delighted to be able to support him in his epic journey.”

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Foundation - Rob George

Philip and Lorraine George, Rob’s parents and trustees of the foundation, said: “We have been so touched that Nick chose to support the Rob George Foundation, citing his keenness to support us because he wanted to help young people to pursue their love of sporting activities, something so dear to his heart.

“To put Nick’s outstanding achievement into perspective, the funds raised from his amazing adventure will provide grants for around 20 deserving young people across the UK and we can’t thank him enough.”