This month, two veterans of The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment will take on ‘Paddle for Pounds’, a 97-mile journey through the network of canals known as the Cheshire Ring.
Our ambassadors Rick Clement and Mark Harding will tackle the Ashton Canal, Peak Forest Canal, Macclesfield Canal, Trent and Mersey Canal, Bridgewater Canal and Rochdale Canal, which has a total of 92 locks. Never ones to shy away from a challenge, they are aiming to complete the 97-mile course in just five days. Along the way, the two challengers will be supported by members of The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and staff from our charity.
While serving in Afghanistan with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, both Rick and Mark sustained major injuries. In 2010, Rick was a month into his first tour as a newly promoted Infantry Platoon Sergeant when he stepped on a Taliban IED. He lost his legs and much of his right arm in the blast. Following physiotherapy and rehabilitation, with the aid of our Charity, Rick is now able to drive and gets around on a mountain trike wheelchair. Find out more about Rick’s story.
The next day, Mark was shot by a Taliban sniper while leading a routine patrol. Defying predictions that he would never walk again, he began a long and painful journey back to fitness and can now walk short distances with the aid of a crutch. Through sheer determination and with support from our charity, Mark has achieved his goal of walking again. Read his story here.
Our charity has supported Rick and Mark at several points over the years, and they are now passionate ambassadors for our charity and the wider Armed Forces family. This latest challenge is the last in a long line of fundraising events and initiatives to raise funds and awareness for the those in need.
From everyone at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, we want to wish good luck to Rick and Mark!