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Travel abroad, make a difference, help people

Hundreds of thousands of travellers visit Nepal every year, but 2015 saw the country suffer a devastating earthquake in which 9,000 people lost their lives.

Among the visitors at the time of the disaster was British Army Physical Training Instructor Captain Lee “Tom” Sawyer, who had been training there with the Nepalese army.

“Experiencing an earthquake makes you realise how small you truly are. Your world gets turned upside down and your balance is a mess,” he said. “I initially went into survival mode: get yourself sorted, look out for people nearby.

“Then my thoughts shifted. As a person of responsibility, I had to do jobs that I wasn’t trained for – deal with distressed civilians, relay what supplies we needed and get people in or out. We achieved as much as we could.

“Nepal is an extraordinary country and I was lucky enough to experience the local culture. Most people want to make a difference in the right way and the British Army gives you that chance. You see places you can only dream of.”