Mark coasts around for charity

By southend@yellowad.co.uk in

AN ex-soldier and his two cats have spent almost a year making their way around the country’s coastline to raise money for five different charities.

Mark Newman, set off on his journey last year on Sunday, April 7, from Scotland and has covered 6,600 miles so far.

Riding his three wheeled mobility scooter he has so far managed to raise £20,500 for charity.

The charities he is raising money for include Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion, SAFA, the Lifeboat Service and the benevolent fund for his old Army unit the Queen’s Dragoon Guards

The 48-year-old who served in Ireland, Cyprus and Germany over a seven year period explained it was through redundancy he had decided to take up the challenge.

Mr Newman, who comes from Swansea, explained he was using a mobility scooter as he injured his right leg when he was training in the army.

He said: "After the army I used to work in a college sorting out the website for them.

"Back in 2010 I was made redundant and someone said to me about going around the country on my mobility scooter.

"So I decided to get on with planning it and now it’s happening, it’s better than sitting at home doing nothing."

Accompanied by his two cats Smudge, 10, and Missy two, they all sleep in the trailer that he is towing.

Talking about his cats he said: "I had to bring them with me as I couldn’t afford to put them in a cattery.

"Anyway, Smudge is just a big daddies boy and would have missed me too much.

"I love wildlife so I just bimble along and look at the animals."

However, he has to be careful to keep an eye on how much power he is using with the batteries of the scooter.

Speaking about estimating how far the scooter could take him he said: "It depends on the terrain you are going along it ranges between 10 and 40 miles.

"I’m going to Basildon tomorrow and someone said there’s a lot of downhill in the journey so I’m hoping to get a good distance in that journey.

"People are good, they let me charge up wherever I can, it’s just a simple plug in and wait between three and five hours to charge."

In the past year he has only had one break from travelling over the Christmas period and heading back home to Swansea to see his mother and two daughters.

Mr Newton said: "Everyone has been amazing and donated a lot of money at the weekend I was in Southend at the Victoria Shopping Centre.

"Missy was meeting and greeting everyone who came along she’s very playful and people loved her.

If you would like to make a donation to Mr Newton’s charities visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/around

britain.

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