In 1991, Mark Newton was in Cyprus with the United Nations and he endured a life changing injury to his leg. By 2009, walking was extremely difficult due to the pain, and it was suggested to Mark that he should contact the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA). The SSAFA “provide practical, emotional and financial support to anyone who is serving or has ever served and their families” and when Mark contacted them, they filled in the forms necessary to get Mark a mobility scooter, which was paid for by his old regiment, 1st The Queens Dragoon Guards, and The Royal British Legion. In 2010, Mark was made redundant but rather than give up, he decided to do something for the charities that had tried so hard to help him.
During May and June of 2011, Mark travelled ‘Round Wales’ on his mobility scooter, covering more than 1450 miles and raising just over £9000 for 1st The Queens Dragoon Guards, Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion. But Mark didn’t stop there, his new plan is a trip right round Great Britain, an incredible feat. His trip is split in to two phases, travelling round the entire edge of the island, and then travelling the rest of Great Britain “documenting and photographing War Graves and War Memorials, there are more than 350,000 of these in Great Britain“.
Mark said “This trip came about as a chance remark by a stranger after getting my first Beamer Tramper with the help of three of the charities. Thinking that Around Britain was a bit much to start with I went around Wales in 2011 raising £9000 for three of the charities. This took 52 days and covered 1452 miles. I look on this as a test run for this trip.“
So far, Mark has covered nearly 8,000 miles on his mobility scooter and has no plans to stop any time soon. So, as Mark says, “in a way my fundraising won’t be stopping for a long while“.