AN INTREPID North-East dad who has completed his mission to climb the highest mountains in the seven continents has revealed plans to launch a charity foundation.

Heating engineer Steve Graham now wants to inspire others to explore the great outdoors and help them achieve their dreams.

Steve is back home in Darlington after climbing the seventh peak – the 16,000-feet high Carstensz Pyramid in Papua – after a campaign that has taken 12 years.

Just before Christmas, he climbed Mount Vinson in the Antarctic and earlier in 2018 he became the first Darlington man to climb Everest.

Other mountains climbed by Steve were Aconcagua in South America, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Denali in North America, and Elbrus in Russia.

The trip to Papua had to be made amid tight security because of the unstable political climate and potential for kidnappings.

“It’s really dangerous but it all went smoothly,” said Steve. “There’s always a low feeling after the highs of the climbs but I just throw myself back into work, and now it’s time to launch a new chapter.”

Steve’s next challenge is to launch the “Triple S Foundation” – taken from his nickname of Seven Summits Steve.

“I just want to give something back to the community after seeing the reaction from the children and adults who have supported me,” he said.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

“I’ve learned so many life skills and I want to work with schools and the wider community to help people get out there and achieve their goals.”

Steve, who has raised thousands of pounds for charities such as St Teresa’s Hospice and Prostate Cancer UK, is looking for partners to help launch the charitable foundation.

Companies that have supported him so far include JT Atkinson Building Supplies, Anthony Jones Properties, Videcon and Darlington Building Society.

When he reached the top of Everest last May, he planted a flag bearing the names of three primary schools – Mowden, Abbey and Reid Street – which had also supported him.

Steve paid tribute to his family, friends and supporters for helping make his own dream come true.

"It took 12 years of hard work, saving, planning and preparation, and over 25 years of training and dreaming," he said. "Many thanks to everyone who has believed in me throughout this incredible journey."

He paid special tribute to his "phenomenal" wife, Hollie, for her support, along with their sons, Sam and Max.