Ex-army medic earns his stripes on charity walk

FORMER Royal Army medic John Holland-Hobbs is earning his stripes by striding across the Scottish countryside to raise money for Help for Heroes.

The 67-year-old from Cobourg Place, is already half way through a solo walk from Stirling to Perth and back.

He set off last Sunday and aims to march about 10 miles a day for 10 days.

John is a former member of the Royal Army Medical Corps and vice-chairman of the Chinese Association in Hastings.

The money he raises in sponsorship will be divided equally between the charities Help for Heroes and the Chinese Association.

Before he left for his adventure north of the border, John’s sponsorship total stood at £1,000.

With more generosity and backing he is hoping to reach his magic target of £2,000.

John is walking alone, camping along the route, and carrying a rucksack containing all of his equipment.

And with temperatures expected to drop to single figures overnight this week, John is sure to be wrapping up warm.

But he is no stranger to the outdoors or Scotland.

John is a veteran of more than 30 years of charity and fundraising walks and cycle rides, including two 200-mile walks in 1984 and 1994.

This is the first time he will have been back to the area since living in Scotland after leaving the army in 1969.

John’s route will take him from Stirling Castle via Doune, Callander, Balquiever, Loch Earn, Comrie, and Criess, to Perth, then returning via Auchterader and Dunblane.

John said: “I have given myself the target of 10 miles a day for 10 days.

“In preparation I have been walking the white cliffs of Dover and around Folkestone in Kent.

“But in the end it is a lot do with will power.

“The places may have changed in the time since I was there but the countryside will not have.”

There are sponsorship forms at Glass Sculptress in George Street, and the Hastings Antiques Warehouse in High Street, both in the Old Town, for anyone interested in sponsoring John.

Alternatively, he can be contacted by calling him on 07926 974509.