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Alex Staniforth

Alex Staniforth

Adversity adventurer, Everest avalanche survivor, author and mental health charity founder from Cheshire, who has never taken the conventional path to the top.

At just 27, Alex has already survived the two biggest disasters in Mount Everest history as a teenager.

After climbing Mont Blanc at 17 and single-handedly raising over £35,000 in corporate sponsorship whilst still at school, his first attempt to climb to the summit of Mount Everest in 2014 was abandoned following a tragic avalanche that took sixteen lives. Aged just 19, he returned a year later and survived an avalanche in the Khumbu Icefall, triggered by the Nepal earthquake, which trapped his team at Camp 1 for two days.

However his biggest challenges have been much closer to home. Alex is no stranger to adversity, after overcoming epilepsy, bullying, anxiety, mental ill health and a stammer since childhood. In 2016 he reached 7,125 metres on Cho Oyu, the sixth highest peak in the world. In 2017 he became the fastest person ever to climb all 100 UK county tops by bike, foot and kayak, covering over 5,000 miles in 72 days.

He has raised over £100,000 for charity, carried the London 2012 Olympic Torch and won Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the Year in 2017. He published his first book Icefall in 2016, endorsed by Bear Grylls, and his second, Another Peak, in 2019. In 2020 Alex co-founded Mind Over Mountains, a charity to restore mental well-being through nature. He also ran the National Three Peaks Challenge, running 452 miles between the UK’s three highest peaks in 9 days 12 hours.

Alex is an ideal and relatable speaker for awards, assemblies and awareness days, committed to helping teams and young people build the resilience to embrace challenges, protect their mental health and achieve their own Everest.

Watch Alex in action here.

Testimonials from Teachers

"As a Building Learning Power school we ensure children are given opportunities to develop the life long learning habits of reciprocity, resourcefulness, reflection &, above all, resilience. Alex was the perfect choice to give a motivational presentation to our children describing his experiences of overcoming adversity and being resilient in his pursuit to climb Everest. His presentation was well planned, interactive, beautifully illustrated and powerful. A true inspiration for young people, Alex became, and continues to be our learning hero."

– Kate Jones, Deputy Head, Eastway Primary School

"From the minute Alex started speaking, our pupils were captivated by his story. Hearing from someone who had faced so many struggles in his life and then seeing what he had achieved was truly inspirational. He was so humble and relatable that the pupils felt they really got to know him and what he was about. It was great to hear about overcoming adversity, setting goals and never giving up, no matter what challenges you are faced with. Feedback from our pupils has been so positive, comments like 'I really need to think about what I want to do with my life' to 'I now know that I can achieve anything I want to if I work hard and focus on my goals' were just some of the things they said. We are looking forward to reading his book once it's published and hope this will be the first of many more visits to St James'."

– Dominique Rarity, Director of Personal Development, St James' Catholic High School (Cheadle)

"It was a well-constructed, interesting presentation which you delivered, without notes, in a very engaging way. Students related well to the challenges you recounted, even those who were less driven by the mountain itself! The setbacks and moments of revelation helped to make the story both interesting and inspiring and, once again, the whole audience was able to take aspects of the experiences and put them into a personal context."

– Andrew White, Head of Sixth Form, Abbotsholme School​

"You brought together a large and varied audience of different roles, ranks and departments, and your presentation gave them the platform to step out of work, devote some time to themselves and their own mental health, offering your perspective and some techniques they can go away and use, and to realise that they are not alone. To link your expedition to COVID was brilliant and allowed us to think about things differently. Sometimes the approach to mental health within organisations as big and cumbersome as ours can feel a bit of a tick box, superficial exercise, but your sessions felt very different, very real, very humble and very authentic. In my view, you will have made a difference much bigger than you may think or ever know."

– Chris Mead, Chief Superintendent, Cambridgeshire Police

"Alex’s keynote address positively inspired our Leaders of the Future conference audience - whatever their age. His impassioned talk transformed our day from being just a good one to being exceptional. He was also a very tough act to follow!"

– Phillip Lawson, CEO, BOSS Federation

It was an absolute pleasure coordinating and speaking with Alex. From our first online meeting to regular email communication we knew that Alex would be the perfect fit for our students. His presentation was inspiring and the students were mesmerized. This was no mean feat, considering that it was the students last day of term and they have had a lot of ‘online’ lessons this year.In over a year, we (the teachers) and the students have had to adapt, be flexible and for a number, deal with anxiety. Showing them a way to climb their own mountain certainly got them thinking.

– Clare Dixon-Clarke, Grade Level Leader, International School in Zurich

You were truly inspiring, everything we could have hoped for and so much more, captivating, moving, just brilliant.

– Dave Hopley, County Commissioner, Cheshire Scouts

I wanted to say a really heartfelt well done, I was seriously moved and I am in awe of your approach to life. I just can't believe your story and I am so pleased you managed to re-focus your targets and thrive from your experiences. Your mindset is phenomenal and I enjoyed listening to your story of re-evaluation and positivity. I am sure the graduates and all the attendees will take something away after listening to you. Your honestly re your mental health experiences was truly touching and if we all talked like you we would be in a much better place!

– Liz Wright, Code Nation

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