Andrew Johnston of The Dangerfields Discusses his Sahara Hike for Mencap

February 11, 2010

In little more than 24 hours time Andrew Johnston of the Dangerfields is set to embark on a journey to MorThe Dangerfieldsocco for a  60-mile hike across the Sahara Desert to raise money for Mencap.

Mencap is a UK charity that works with people with disabilities, as well as their carers and family. Without getting too personal, I have a lot of respect for the work they do in fighting for rights, creating opportunities and challenging attitudes and prejudice.

Tonight from his home in Belfast, Andrew answered a few quick questions about the trip.

What are your motivations for doing the hike?
I love travelling, and I’ve never been to Africa. I’m not usually a fan of extreme heat, but I really want to see the Sahara. I hate sitting at home, and I’m not into ‘normal’ holidays, so this is perfect for me – see the world while raising money for charity. Mencap is a great cause – people with learning disabilities are one of the most marginalised groups in society, and they deserve better. It’s nice to be able to help a little.

How did you get involved with Mencap?
Last year, I saw a poster for their husky sled challenge on a bus shelter and just thought, ‘Fuck it. I’m doing that.’ I guess I was fed up with seeing other people have all the fun and go to all the cool places. I thought if I could raise money for charity while doing interesting and offbeat stuff it would be a nice way to spend a couple of weeks each year. The husky trip, in northern Norway, was amazing – probably the best thing I’ve ever done. We sledded for 125 miles across the Arctic, sleeping in cabins with no electricity and drilling in lakes for water.

What precautions are you gonna be taking to deal with the heat, not to mention the snakes and spiders?

Factor 50 sun cream and nerves of steel. I’m in the Dangerfields, remember? Nothing scares me.

To find out more about the cause and to consider making a donation to Andrew’s Sahara expedition visit his page on JustGiving – as this story is published Andrew is currently £500 short of his target of £2000.

Related links:
Video – Music Vice interview with The Dangerfields – Glasgow, August 2007
The Dangerfields – MySpace

Brian Banks

Editor and Founder, Music Vice Magazine. Writer. Photographer. Poet. From Scotland. Not Ireland. Proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Rock N' Roll Don't Pay The Rent... 

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