A FORMER royal marine who runs a funeral business will be attempting something a little different for his 50th birthday.

Ben Thomas, of Thomas Brothers Funeral Directors, will attempt to scale Mt Everest, Earth's highest mountain above sea level.

Ben, who will be joined by friends and other intrepid explorers (Jonathon Griffiths, Darren Gwillym, and John Linton) will be raising cash for The Primrose Hospice and Birmingham’s Children Hospital.

They’ll be heading off to the Himalayas in April.

Their target is to reach Everest Base Camp (5,380 metres above sea level).

Ben said: "The adventure will begin on April 9 two days after my 50th - so I’ll be limiting my celebrations before departing but a bottle of champagne will be taken and popped on April 20 - our arrival date at basecamp.

"We’ve all been training hard. Loads of walking and running with weights and I’ve just returned from a week in the Alps acclimatising to the altitude - which will be one of our greatest tests."

He added: "However, the most daunting part, I think for all of us, will be the flight into what’s said to be the world's most dangerous airport at Lukla - situated deep in the mountains of Nepal."

If you’d like to donate, search for Thomas Brothers The Funeral Directors on Facebook.