Friends take on Wolds walk for Blesma

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A GROUP of friends have challenged themselves to complete a marathon walk for an ex-servicemen’s charity.

The seven men are set to walk 79 miles along the Yorkshire Wolds Way to raise funds for Blesma, the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association.

The event has been organised by Marc Stubley, of West Street Gardens, Stamford, after his friend Luke Simpson lost the bottom part of his leg while serving in Afghanistan.

Cpl Simpson, who is from Oakham, was serving with the 101 Royal Engineers Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Demolitions) at Camp Bastion, when he accidentally stepped on an improvised explosive device.

The charity supports service men and women who have lost limbs, use of limbs, or eye sight while serving for their country.

Marc, 32, said he is looking forward to the challenge but also has doubts over whether everyone will be able to complete the walk.

He said: “It was all my stupid idea but after Luke told me about the charity and the support they give to ex-servicemen, I thought it would be a great cause to raise money for.

“I’m really not sure everyone will make it though. It’s a very long way to walk in 48 hours but we’ll give it our best shot and hopefully some of us will make it.

“It’s going to be a big test for us all.”

The friends are setting off for the challenge on Friday, August 3, at 1pm and hope to have finished the trek 48 hours later on Sunday, August 5.

Their route takes them from Hessle to Filey, passing by more than 20 towns and villages along the east coast of Yorkshire along the way.

The group have been meeting up to train for the past 10 weekends and have been helped by generous donations in sponsorship and fundraising.

Marc said: “We’ve been doing 20 mile walks so far and they seem quite long so it makes the challenge seem even more daunting.

“We’re also camping throughout the night, so we’ll all be carrying about 40 to 50lbs on our backs which will be quite tough.

“We haven’t got a target but we’re just looking to raise as much as we can for the charity.

“A big thank you goes to all those who have supported us so far.”

The group of walkers also includes former soldier Daniel Twiddy, who suffered severe burns while serving in Iraq in 2003 and now runs his own plastering company in Stamford, as well as Stephen Bull, Bradley Clarke, Dave Bush, Kier Kelly and Paul Caffrey.

To sponsor the group, visit www.justgiving.com/country-stroll