Are you a military spouse or partner who’s feeling isolated or missing a sense of togetherness and motivation in your life?

The Forces Wives Challenge (FWC) could be just the thing for you. It aims to unite women with partners in the armed forces through adventure and challenge, combating loneliness by providing opportunities to experience camaraderie, belonging and achievement.

It was set up by Heather Sharp, who served in the regular army for 10 years, before making the difficult decision to leave due to the pressures of having a young family and a husband who was also serving.

Heather says: “I then experienced service life on the other side of the fence and found it so much tougher. My eyes were opened to the incredible sacrifices made by families, and I really wanted to give something back.”

Expeditions worldwide

FWC has supported 18 expeditions and events, from scaling the world’s highest volcano in Chile to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and raised more than £50,000 for charity along the way.

During the lockdowns, FWC was determined to carry on delivering events to keep the community motivated, including Pedal4Poppies for the Royal British Legion; Forgotten ‘C’ for Macmillan Cancer Support and #10ForTrees for The Woodland Trust.

Nicola McCombe, who took part in Pedal4Poppies alongside her friend Hollie, says: “The weather was horrendous – torrential rain and strong winds, but it didn’t dampen our spirits!

“Hollie and I rode over 35 miles visiting various memorials throughout Wiltshire and Hampshire where we laid poppies made by Hollie at each one.

“It was great fun, even when we got lost, and we both had a sense of achievement when we completed it.”

Heroes’ footsteps

FWC has had another action-packed summer and members are now in training for the next ambitious overseas expedition. In March 2022 FWC is taking the world’s first all-female team, the ‘FWC HOT Ladies’ to Norway to re-enact the famous Heroes of Telemark journey, a daring Second World War mission by Norwegian special forces across the Hardangervidda Plateau.

Expedition doctor Kate Connelly adds: “It is a real privilege to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of these brave young men whose determination and sacrifice helped ensure future generations could enjoy the freedoms we have today.”

To find out more or get involved, visit forceswiveschallenge.org

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