TT2 Limited, the operator of the Tyne Tunnels, has made a donation to a former soldier who is climbing Mount Everest as part of its ongoing charity support programme.

The Tyne Tunnels Community Fund, founded by TT2 in November 2016, donated £1000 to Leslie Binns to support his second attempt to scale Mount Everest to raise money for ABF – The Soldiers Charity, that provides support to soldiers and veterans of the British Army.

Leslie was wounded by an improvised explosive device and left blind in one eye while serving with the Light Dragoons in Afghanistan. He first attempted to climb Everest in 2016, however he abandoned the attempt 500 metres from the summit when he realised a fellow climber had encountered difficulties. He saved her life but was unable to complete his challenge to reach the top. He is now raising money for the second attempt, which will take place this summer.

The donation came about after TT2 reached out to members of staff for charity ideas to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the first Tyne Tunnel. This inspired Mick Ayre to suggest Leslie’s challenge as a worthy cause. Mick has been friends with Leslie since they served together in the Light Dragoons, so the fundraising venture is very close to his heart.

The Tyne Tunnels Community Fund helps TT2 Limited achieve its aim to be a good neighbour to communities on both sides of the Tyne, as well as to those in their wider customer base. The fund was established in 2016, and strives to support local charitable and educational programmes across the region.

Stu Sutton, Operations Manager at TT2 said: “TT2 is delighted to have the opportunity to donate to such a fantastic challenge. Les served with TT2 employee Mick Ayre, and we have nothing but admiration for both his work with the army and his fundraising efforts. The Community Fund has been able to support a variety of great causes, and we hope our support will help spur Les on throughout the climb.”

Leslie Binns said: “I’m thrilled that the Tyne Tunnels Community Fund has been able to make such a generous donation to my Everest challenge. It was a very pleasant surprise to log in to my JustGiving page and see the money pushing me even further towards my target. I am determined to make it to the top this time, and every donation helps the brilliant charity I’m representing.”

TT2 employee Mick Ayre said: “Les is a great guy and it was an honour serving with him in the Light Dragoons. He’s never given up and always been a hero no matter what, and I’m very happy that the Tyne Tunnels Community Fund has given him its backing. He really deserves it.”

Leslie Binns is still raising money via his JustGiving page – – and you can follow his progress on twitter using #EH2017.