Pub boss plans Sahara trek for Help For Heroes

GREAT STRIDES ... Mark Hagan is set for a nine-day Sahara trek in aid of Help For Heroes.
GREAT STRIDES ... Mark Hagan is set for a nine-day Sahara trek in aid of Help For Heroes.

A PUB boss is making great strides on the fundraising trail – as he gets ready to set off for the Sahara to boost a vital cause.

Big-hearted Mark Hagan is going the extra mile for the Help for Heroes charity after signing up for a energy-sapping nine-day trek through the desert in November.

The dad-of-one, who is duty manager of the Lakeside pub in Fellgate, Jarrow, is rising to the daunting challenge to honour his father-in-law, Tony Parkinson, a Second World War veteran who died last year.

He is keen to pay tribute to his relative – and war heroes spanning the generations – and raise precious pennies and pounds for the organisation.

Mr Hagan has already hit the £1,200 target needed to fund taking part in the event, after hosting a successful charity race night at the pub on Friday.

But he has set his set his sights on doubling the charitable haul in the months to come.

The 34-year-old, who lives with wife Julia, 40, and their three-year-old son Luke, said: “We raised £500 on the night, which I’m over the moon about.

“I have been in touch with the White Lead pub in Hebburn and I will be hosting another charity night there on October 5.”

Mr Hagan says training is going well ahead of the epic mission, which will involve 40 hours of travelling.

He added: “The training is going well. I am getting out and going for walks whenever I can.

The voyage across the Sahara – both on foot and on camel – will take in stony flat expanses of land and wind-blown sand dunes. Mr Hagan will be one of more than 50 intrepid travellers crossing the desert.

The trip will get under way on November 14, ending on November 23.

Mr Hagan is slowly building up his training by taking long walks on the beach and is hoping for more hot weather to give him a taste of the conditions to come.

Supporters can donate to the cause by using the Just Text Giving service.

Text HAGN99 followed by a donation of your choice to the number 70070. For example, text HAGN99 £5.

Mark is also hoping South Tyneside businesses will sponsor his clothing during his journey across the desert.

His pictures will be shared across social media, giving thousands a chance to see the company logo in a unique setting.

Businesses interested in sponsoring Mark can e-mail him at