Bromsgrove man treks to North Pole to win girlfriend's hand in marriage

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A BROMSGROVE man has won his girlfriend's hand in marriage after agreeing to her father's one request - a trek to the North Pole.

Jake Thompson has been with Hannah Bennett since they met at school eight years ago.

The 23-year-old decided the time was right to ask for her hand in marriage last Christmas and approached her father, Steve Bennett, to ask his permission.

But Jake was shocked when he was told he would only be granted permission if he accompanied Steve on a charity trek to the North Pole.

Determined Jake had no choice but to agree to the challenge so in April he found himself jetting off to take part in the walk.

The 10-day trek saw them walk, ski and sledge to the North Pole in temperatures of -50C.

Jake joined his father-in-law-to-be along with two other team members in their bid to walk unaided to the North Pole.

Steve and Jake formed half of the only British team expected to make it to The North Pole this year.

They were guided by Alan Chambers - the first Briton to ever complete the daunting task - who helped them successfully navigate their 100kg sledges through the moving ice of the Arctic Circle.

Steve Bennett decided the challenge would enable Jake to prove himself to the family, and felt raising funds for charities close to the family would be the perfect initiation for the keen youngster.

They managed to raise in excess of £30,000 for the Colourful Life Foundation, which works to improve the health and education of deprived communities, and the National Osteoporosis Society, which is the only UK wide charity dedicated to improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

Speaking about his decision to recruit Jake to the challenge, Steve said: "This seemed to be the perfect opportunity for Jake to prove his commitment to marrying my daughter.

"But on a serious note, it's a great challenge for a great cause.

"I needed someone I can rely on during those dark and difficult moments and Jake proved to be the man to accompany me."

Jake said that whilst he was surprised about the challenge he had to undergo, he was more than willing to do it.

"Hannah and I have been together for eight years so I didn’t think there would be any objection from Steve," he said.

"When he told me, I panicked but there was no way I was going to back out.

"It’ll be a great story to tell our future children."

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