Nefud Desert Expedition 2023: “Sun’s Anvil”

Action for Stammering Children, the charity that supports UK children and young people who stammer, has entered into a partnership with the 2023 Nefud Sun’s Anvil Expedition to raise funds for its life-changing work and public awareness about stammering. All funds raised will go towards ASC’s Talking Out Programme.

TALKING OUT gives teenagers who stammer access to specialist therapy and support to help them make the most of their educational opportunities and make more confident choices about their future careers. 

TALKING OUT is based on a series of residential and online courses with ongoing support throughout the year. Teenagers benefit from specialist therapy that would otherwise be unavailable to them, but they also meet other teenagers who stammer. Participation in outdoor challenges and other projects help them to build friendships and supportive networks.  

Our target is to raise £120,000. This will enable ASC to run Talking Out for two years, helping us to support more and more teenagers who stammer across the UK.

Help us reach our fundraising goal:

All funds raised will go towards ASC’s Talking Out Programme.

About the expedition

The Nefud is a desert in the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula at 28.30°N 41.00°E occupying a great oval depression. It is 290 kilometres (180 mi) long and 225 kilometres (140 mi) wide, with an area of 103,600 square kilometres (40,000 sq mi).

The Nefud is a sand sea (erg) and is noted for its sudden violent winds, which account for the large crescent-shaped dunes. The sand in the Nefud is a brick-reddish colour and rain only comes once or twice a year. In some lowland areas, namely those near the Hejaz Mountains, there are oases where dates, vegetables, barley, and fruits are grown.

“The Sun’s Anvil” is an area of the north west Nefud where the sun relentlessly beats down on a vast plain of white sand. Because of the heat, glare and lack of available water, the local Bedouins consider the Anvil as impossible to cross by camel in the daytime. This remote, mystical area is characterised by the mirage and sand-devils conjured from the land by the rising breeze.

The primary objective of the 2023 Nefud Sun’s Anvil Expedition is to cross the Nefud and the Sun’s Anvil by pathfinding novel routes through the terrain in alternatively fuelled, low carbon-footprint vehicles. The secondary objectives are:

  •  To create and expedition template to minimise ecological disturbance and to reduce carbon footprint to a minimum
  • Locating and recording lost archaeological features and sites in collaboration with the Saudi Arabian Mada in Salih archaeological foundation
  • Creating maps of the route, terrain features and water sources

The expedition consists of six team members and will be completed in three vehicles

Read the full press release here.

Hear from the Team Leader of the 2023 Nefud Expedition, Dr Alan Crofts in his Stambassador video:


Thank you for your support.


If you are a new donor to ASC, and are able to give £500 or more, your donation will be doubled at no extra cost to you. Thanks to our generous supporters, the Four Acre Trust who will match your donation pound for pound.

This means that, if you give £500, then we will receive an additional £500 towards our target. If, in addition, your donation is eligible for Gift Aid, your £500 donation will generate £1,125. Any amounts above £500 will be similarly doubled. A £1,000 donation (with Gift Aid), for example, will generate £2,250 for our work!

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