SOUTH Tyneside charity champs with family members in the forces aim to raise more than £10,000 for injured soldiers in a marathon walk.
Local businesses are getting behind the effort, part of the Care for Casualties campaign on behalf of The Rifles regiment.
Since 2007, The Rifles has regiment has suffered more than any other, with 54 soldiers killed and a further 290 seriously wounded, mostly from improvised or roadside bombs.
Last year, a group walked 115 miles in three days, from South Shields to Edinburgh, raising £10,700 for The Rifles’ wristband appeal.
Cash raised this year will support injured personnel and families, and the numbers have swelled to 50, who will walk 55 miles from a Sunderland pub to Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire, between July 21 and 22.
Steve Williams, 40, of Hedworth, Jarrow, whose stepson, Darren Burgoyne, serves with the regiment, is one of the organisers.
He said: “With so many more taking part this year, we would expect to beat last year’s cash.”
There were fears the walkers would not be able to take part in a pass-out parade at the end of their walk, until Army officials relented.
Peter Callaghan, 54, of Whiteleas, South Shields, who has two sons, Michael and Dale, in the forces, said: “Exec Travel, of Jarrow, has provided a minibus as a back-up vehicle, plus we have £250 from Whiteleas Taxis, the firm supporting us again, and donations from Stagecoach and Morrisons. Asda has let us stage a collection and Barbour is offering support.”
A charity night will be held at the Boldon Lad pub, Hedworth Lane, Jarrow, on Saturday, July 16, at 7.30pm. To make a donation, visit: www.justgiving.com/SteveWilliams-jarrow