A DORSET-based veteran is undertaking the challenge of completing a wheelchair marathon from his kitchen.

Major Andrew Johnston, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, will take on the whole 26 miles and 385 yards of a marathon in his 10-yard-long open kitchen-dining room, to raise funds for struggling charities.

Major Johnston, from Motcombe, spent 20 years in the British Army serving in the Coldstream Guards.

As a result of the multiple sclerosis, he has been wheelchair dependent since 1995. Two years ago, he contracted flu and pneumonia at the same time, which led to significant muscle and weight loss along with breathing difficulties.

Major Johnston began his challenge on April 21 and aims to finish on June 6, on the 76th anniversary of D-Day.

The challenge consists of 100 lengths of the room per day and by Major Johnston’s calculations, he will have completed a total of 4614 lengths on completion of the marathon.

Major Johnston said: “I was inspired by Captain Tom Moore's tremendous efforts. I thought if he can do it then I’m sure I can also do something to support charities having a difficult time at the moment.

“It took me a while to work out what I can do. Our part-kitchen, part-dining room is 10 yards long so I put together a spreadsheet and was able to work out that I can actually wheel the distance of a Marathon.

“I'm actually enjoying myself, I relish the challenge. I learnt when I was serving that breaking down distances into smaller targets would help them become much more achievable. There's nothing worse than seeing a long road stretching out before you and finding more achievable landmarks helps to get the distance under your belt.

“Some days are easier than others and that is reflected in the timings. For example, last Sunday it took me 50 minutes but the next day I did it in 33 minutes, feeling as if I was going downhill with the wind behind me. It just depends on the way my body feels on the day.

Major Johnston is raising funds for six different charities, those who donate through his JustGiving page can decide which one they want to donate to. The six charities are: NHS Charities Together, Combat Stress, Wessex MS Therapy Centre, La Folia, Motcombe Memorial Hall and Racing Welfare.

His JustGiving page has currently raised over £13,500 in donations.

Major Johnston continued: “The charities range from big national charities to smaller local ones but each one to is as important as the rest and people have been enormously generous.

“I'm constantly amazed at the generosity of the British people as a whole to get behind various projects, whether it’s the big national things like Red Nose Day much smaller local initiatives. I think British people as a whole are enormously generous.”

To support Major Johnston's cause, visit www.justgiving.com/team/MajorAndysMarathon.