South Tyneside man's bid for a world record - and here's how it will help Forces heroes
A former Army officer from South Tyneside has raised £300,000 to help Forces veterans – and he is not stopping there.
He wants to set up a charity retreat where people who have been in the military – both serving and veterans – can come for support through their dark times.
Sadly, the run had to be postponed because of the pandemic but Paul vowed it would happen in the future.
Now he has shared much better news with the Gazette. By September this year, £300,000 had already been raised towards the retreat, and the run is on track to start on March 1 next year.
Paul, formerly of Hebburn, admitted; “To date, we are able to say we have almost raised £300,000 towards the retreat. It is a phenomenal amount of money in such a short period.
We would like to thank all of our amazing fundraisers and everyone who has donated.”
Paul, a former South Tyneside College student, founded a charity called Head Up which promotes his aims and is also setting up a holistic retreat where military personnel can come for seven to 21 days to learn techniques to help them with a positive outlook in their lives.
First, in 2006, his seven-strong unit was ambushed in a rocket attack and only three of them came out alive. In 2011, Paul was the leader in a Jackal machine gun vehicle when it hit a roadside bomb.
Since the two dramas, he learned everything he could about positive mindsets, the right nutrition, and self development. Now he plans to use the skills and his military experience to help others.
In more good news, Head Up was given full charitable status in August this year and a 24-month fundraising phase ‘in search of £3m to develop our unique and desperately needed 7-day holistic Armed Forces retreat’ began.
In October 2021 the Head Up Charity, publicly went live.
Paul added: “To everyone who has helped share our story and get the Head Up vision known far and wide. Thank you.
“We are in the very early stages, with a long way to go. If your organisation, business, group, or as an individual would like to help us reach our target by September 2023, no matter how big or small, please get in touch.”
The former Staff Sgt in the Household Cavalry is also planning the charity run where he plans to run 30 miles a day for 200 days.
He previously told the Gazette: “This is a run which would be a world record. It has never been achieved before.
"I will run round GB and Northern Ireland. It is 5,800 miles and I am hoping to do it in 200 days.”
To find out more, visit https://www.head-up.org.uk
And to give your backing to the fundraising campaign, visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/headupcharity