Aged just 21, record-breaking adventurer Alex Staniforth has achieved more than many would in a lifetime. He is moving audiences of all ages and offering something very unique in the speaking industry to inspire others to overcome their own ‘Everest in life’.
In 2015, Alex was caught up in an avalanche on Mount Everest during his second attempt to climb to the summit, aged 19. Adversity is the greatest teacher, and Alex is no stranger to such obstacles. Epilepsy, anxiety, depression, bullying and most remarkably – a stammer – plagued his school years. An affinity for making a difference became his way to fight back. With entrepreneurial spirit he had to find a way or make one to fund both of his Everest expeditions, two years in a row, despite a ‘typical’ background. In 2014, his first expedition was then cancelled following a tragic avalanche above base camp. With obstacles being opportunities in disguise, Alex then created the EPIC7 project, a series of ultra-endurance challenges to prepare himself further. In 2015 he returned to the mountain, this time having a narrow escape when the Nepal earthquake triggered avalanches and took the lives of three of his team at base camp.
In 2017 he became the fastest person ever to climb the highest point of all 100 UK counties in 72 days, covering over 5,000 miles by bicycle, foot and kayak, the equivalent of 13 Everests in height gain, and raising over £24,000 for mental health charity Young Minds.
Alex released his first book, Icefall, in 2016, endorsed by Bear Grylls. He has raised over £85,000 for charity, reached 7,125m on Cho Oyu (sixth highest in the world), and is an ambassador for four organisations including Westgrove Group and YHA England & Wales. He was a torchbearer in the London 2012 Olympic Torch relay and is an experienced runner and cyclist.
With compelling honesty and passion, Alex will inspire and take away the excuses of your team/students/audiences and highlight how determination and drive are needed to succeed.
A gripping journey of overcoming adversity and the hard-hitting lessons along the way, with rare first-hand accounts of the Everest avalanche disasters in 2014 and 2015. I've learnt that like the Icefall, life is a pretty fragile thing, and I leave this emotive message to prove the power of dedication, aiming high and resilience in achieving our full potential.Whether for a business, event, or any audience, I understand that the attributes to overcome obstacles and be resilient when achieving our goals is largely the same whether on the worlds' highest mountain or in a business project. Adversity is personal to all of us, and it was finding my purpose to climbing Mount Everest where I met a different type of adversity altogether.
If I can show them a 21 year old refusing to give up, they will struggle to find excuses when faced with their own 'Everest'.
Typical themes included: Perseverance, leadership, teamwork, mental resilience, entrepreneurship, management of disappointment, taking calculated risks, achieving goals.
When speaking to students of high school age and above, I help young people build resilience to achieve their potential and overcome their 'Everest in life'. Resilience is something that modern education fails to teach, and resilience is key to their performance and success, not only in education but in their whole lives. I feel there's no better example to prove this to young people- than another young person- of similar background and circumstances they can relate to.
Using my journey of overcoming adversity, and the emotional, hard-hitting lessons from the avalanche in the Icefall on Mount Everest in 2015, I can show young people that the biggest obstacle will always be themselves. By resilience and having the right mindset, I have used my experiences as a chance for growth and achieving my potential to help others. Whether it's exam pressure, uncertainty over their future, or similar issues like depression, I can give them hope that such hurdles can be overcome.
Dan Hallett, Reckitt Benckiser
John Thomson, OBE QVRM TD MSc DL rcds
Steve Swallow, the Football Association
Andrew White, Head of Sixth Form, Abbotsholme School
Professor Mark Radford, Chief Nursing Officer, UHCW NHS Trust
Kate Jones, Eastway Primary School