Simon’s up for marathon mobility scooter haul trip

Simon Angel is getting ready to head on the mammoth trek

Simon Angel is getting ready to head on the mammoth trek

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A HERO soldier will travel 874 miles from John O’Groats to Lands End on a mobility scooter to raise money for a pair of charities.

Simon Angel, 46, was awarded the MBE in 2000 after serving in Cyprus, Belize, the Falklands, Canada, Germany, Kuwait and Northern Ireland.

And it was for his work in the province, where he helped save more than 100 lives as Boat Section Commander, that the corporal saw his efforts recognised by the Queen.

A talented sportsman, Mr Angel joined the Army at the age of 19 after growing up here in Hastings and attending both Elphinstone School and The Grove.

He served with distinction but was forced to leave the Forces after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after 21 years of service with the Royal Engineers.

Now, also suffering from ME, he wants to do all he can to help those former colleagues still serving in Iraq and Afghanistan - as well as those in a similar position to himself.

“It is important for me to take on this challenge,” Mr Angel told the Observer. “it has been a real challenge since I left the Army and I need something to fill my time with a target to set myself.

“My condition means I am not as mobile as I once was but this is something I can do to help raise some much-needed money.”

Mr Angel has set himself a £10,000 fundraising target and has already reached the halfway point thanks to the generosity of friends and family.

Now, with just weeks until he sets off on the mammoth journey, he is hoping local people can spare a few pennies.

“Everything I raise will be split half and half between Help For Heroes and The Royal British Legion. Both charities do excellent work helping not just those still serving, but what I call the forgotten heroes - people who have done their bit but are facing physical and mental problems as a result.

“I am living constantly with this God-awful illness and started attending a charity driven respite home which is run by Combat Stress, where I found that I am not alone in struggling with the after life from my exploits in the Forces.

“It was there where I came up with idea of a Rally for Remembrance.

“This is my way to say a big thank you to not only the men and women who are constantly at the sharp end fighting as we speak in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also to the men and women in the past who have given so much for so little in return.”

A host of businesses are already backing Mr Angel’s mission - including TGA Scooters which has supplied him with a pair of scooters on which to tackle the challenge.

With a top speed nestling between 4mph and 10mph depending on the model, Mr Angel predicts he won’t be reaching Lands End until more than five weeks after his April 1 departure date.

Readers can follow his progress on a travel blog as well as regular updates on social networking website Twitter. For more information or to sponser Mr Angel, visit www.rallyforremembrance.co.uk.