07/07/07 Castaway

Castaway Mike Strawson will be pitting his wits against the elements on an uninhabited island to raise cash for a leukaemia charity.

The 65-year-old international trade consultant will be forced to leave his laptop and mobile behind when he takes on his challenge to raise money for the Anthony Nolan Trust.

The only luxury items he can take to the mystery island, somewhere off the south coast of England, are a comb and a book.

Mr Strawson, of Water Hill, Fiskerton, is taking part in the Robinson Crusoe-style adventure in memory of his first wife, Anne, who died of leukaemia at the age of 37 in 1982.

But the dad-of-two and step-dad-of-three admitted he would also be fulfilling a boyhood dream.

“It’s going to be a real boyhood adventure. These days we are so sheltered, so caught up in the communication age. It will be really good to get away from it all. I want to get back to nature and hopefully learn something about myself,” he said.

Mr Strawson will be one of 12 volunteers who will be dumped on the completely uninhabited island from September 21 to 26.

Accompanied by a survival expert, they will land on the beach and then decide as a team how to cope for the next week.

They will have to build their own shelter as well as catch, kill, prepare and cook all of their own food over the five days.

Mr Strawson said: “I’ve always loved camping, but this will take things to another level.

“We won’t even know what island we’ll be on until the day they take us so there’s a real sense of mystery – I can’t wait.

“I’m getting all my kit together and reading up on SAS survival techniques, but I just want to get out there and do it now.”

The Anthony Nolan Trust provides life-saving donors for leukaemia patients in need of a bone-marrow transplant.

Since 1974 it has helped to give more than 5,800 children and adults a new chance of life.

Mr Strawson said charity was very important to him. “Anne died before I’d even had a bone-marrow test to see if I was compatible. But they help so many people – I felt I had to do something for them.”

The self-employed businessman wants to hit a £1,000 sponsorship target.

For details on how to sponsor him, call Mr Strawson on