Charity challenge veteran thanks residents for support and donations

Dorset Echo: THANK YOU: Mark Newton, travelling around Britain on a mobility scooter THANK YOU: Mark Newton, travelling around Britain on a mobility scooter

A VETERAN travelling around the coast of Britain on a mobility scooter has thanked Weymouth and Portland people for their charitable donations and support.

Mark Newton, 48, is more than 7,000 miles into his charity challenge and stayed at Bagwell Farm Touring Park in Chickerell last Friday and Saturday evening.

He spent Saturday roaming across Weymouth raising money for armed forces charities, including Help for Heroes.

Mark said people had been very supportive of what he was trying to achieve, adding to the £28,000 total he’s raised so far.

He said: “I get people who say they can only give a few coppers. It all adds up.

“I went into the Greenhill Gardens. I hopped on from there and went straight down to Portland Bill.

“I haven’t been down here for about 20 years.

“I enjoyed Weymouth other than the weather. It really is a green and pleasant land.”

Mark’s initial plan was to stay in Preston on Friday evening, be in West Bay on Sunday, and travel to Charmouth yesterday.

Mark contacted the Echo however after plans for accommodation in West Bay and Charmouth fell through.

A Burton Bradstock business spotted Mark’s plea online and came to his rescue, providing him with accommodation on Sunday.

He stayed at The Old Coastguard Holiday Park, with the owners happy to support his charity challenge.

Mark said: “With it being a bank holiday it was awkward. Everywhere was fully booked.”

The fundraiser, from Swansea, started his challenge in Wales last year.

His specially-adapted scooter tows a caravan for his two cats – Smudge and Missy – to sleep in.

Mark said: “Without the trailer and the cats I don’t generate as much interest.”

Mark is raising money for military charity SSAFA, the RNLI, Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and his regiment, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards. He injured his leg while on duty with the UN in Cyprus and retired from the army in 1991.

Mark spent yesterday at the Lyme Regis RNLI.

He plans to arrive at Salcombe Regis Camping and Caravan Park in Devon today.

For more details about Mark’s challenge visit aroundbritain.org.uk or email mark@aroundbritain.org.uk

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