Morley schoolteacher to take on dangerous expedition to the North Pole to highlight climate change
A Leeds schoolteacher is preparing to go on an extraordinary and dangerous expedition to the North Pole to raise awareness about the urgency of climate change.
Lauren Sunter, a 25-year-old primary school teacher from Morley, will be undertaking the challenge as part of an all-female team led by Bradford-born polar explorer Ann Daniels, the first woman to have ever reached both the North Pole and South Pole.
The Year 4 teacher and the team hope to raise £1million for climate change charities as well as highlighting the devastating impact of climate change on the planet.
The team will travel 60 nautical miles and spend seven days and six nights on their expedition to the North Pole.
Lauren said: “I think the issue of climate change is becoming more and more evident now, and people are becoming aware of it because of the work done by people such as David Attenborough.
“It is just so devastating thinking about what we're actually doing to our planet.
“A lot of people can make excuses, saying it’s fine and ‘I need my car’ etc, but it's all about just making those small tweaks and changes that can make such a big difference.
“It is scary to think about how quickly the ice is melting.
“There are polar bears that are losing their habitat and dying because they are having to swim for hours. There's no ice for them to settle on.
“It is devastating to think that these endangered animals may not exist in 50 years time.”
Although she is excited about the trip, she is scared of the dangers it poses, but Lauren said she had to give it a go and show her pupils that anything is possible if they put their mind to it.
The teacher said: “We have spoken about the kinds of dangers that we’ll come across such as frostbite and polar bear attacks.
“We will be camping on the ice as well and as that is constantly moving, there is a risk the ice could crack around us so we have to be very careful.
“When the expedition was first raised I thought absolutely no way could I do it - but then I realised that I was teaching my children to be brave and push themselves and I wasn’t practising what I preach.
“I am terrified but I know that it will be such an achievement and that it will be worth it in the long run.”
Lauren, who is also the geography lead for the school, added: "The kids are all absolutely amazed by what we plan to do.
“Ann has created videos for them about her experiences and we are really focused on climate change on our curriculum.
“The children are so passionate about the issue and it is amazing to see how involved they are about making small changes to help stop or slow down climate change when they are only eight and nine years old.
“They are very excited for me but have also made me laugh with funny questions about toilets in the North Pole and what I plan to do if I am eaten by a polar bear.”
Lauren and the team are now raising money and looking for sponsorship to go on the expedition.
Lauren needs to raise £50,000 in order to go on the trip and money can be donated on the Just Giving page.
They have not picked a specific charity they want to raise money for and are open to working with any sponsors to pick a worthy cause.
The expedition is set to take place in April 2022.
To follow the team on their journey please visit their Facebook page ‘Women In Polar’.