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Massive Highland mountain trek to fundraise for Help for Heroes

By Louise Glen

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Paul Roberts, 52, and Sean Jones, 27, from Garston set off from Inverness on Saturday, September 19.
Paul Roberts, 52, and Sean Jones, 27, from Garston set off from Inverness on Saturday, September 19.

Friends from Liverpool are hiking across the Scottish mountains to raise funds for injured and wounded veterans, trekking 200 miles in a fortnight.

Forces veterans Paul Roberts (52) and Sean Jones (27), from Garston on Merseyside set off from Inverness on September 19.

They are aiming to complete their marathon trek on October 3, at the end of the West Highland Way at Milngavie, near Glasgow.

The epic hike, which aims to raise at least £1,000 for Help for Heroes, also takes in the spectacular Great Glen Way, with a detour at Spean Bridge to pay their respects at the Commando Memorial, as well as taking in the scenic Nevis Range and Glencoe.

The pair travelled to Scotland in March to start their fundraiser but had to return home when the UK suddenly went into lockdown, vowing to come back when it was safe to do so.

After leaving the Highland capital they had reached Fort Augustus near Loch Ness on September 21.

They hope to get to Fort William on the west coast by today, to keep ahead of the forecast wind and rain and have a rest day before continuing on to Glencoe and finally the West Highland Way.

Mr Roberts was moved to raise funds for Help for Heroes to help veterans like family friend Kearin Hart, who he has known since he was a boy.

When Mr Hart signed up to the Lancashire Regiment, Paul made a promise to his friend’s parents that he would always look out for him.

When Mr Hart, now aged 30, left the Army and became a private military contractor in Mogadishu, Somalia, he was shot five times in his armoured chest plate.

Paul was about to fly over to rescue him to fulfil his pledge when Kearin’s team managed to get him out to safety.

Mr Hart had also hoped to join the hike to raise funds for other veterans, but had to pull out due to work commitments.

Mr Roberts, also a veteran, was medically discharged from the Royal Marines with full honours.

Since then, he has worked with young offenders by inspiring them to turn their lives around and is a specialist in psychotherapy and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, after studying for degrees in Law and Mental Health Nursing.

David Martin from Help for Heroes said: “Help for Heroes is hugely grateful to Paul for everything he has done to support us.

“We are especially grateful to Paul and Sean for supporting us this year as, like all charities, our fundraising income has been hit and we need to raise essential funds

Anyone wishing to donate should go to justgiving.com/fundraising/walking4heroes2020.

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