Arthur aims to go the distance for heroes - The Evesham Observer

Arthur aims to go the distance for heroes

Evesham Editorial 13th Aug, 2021   0

CARING teenage army cadet Arthur Mortimer will be putting his best foot forward through Stratford and Evesham as part of a 150 mile charity challenge to see his grandparents.

The 15-year-old Rugby lad is on a mission to raise cash for Help For Heroes and was inspired by the late Sir Captain Tom Moore’s monumental fund-raising effort for the NHS.

While most teenagers will be relaxing over the summer holidays, this determined Army cadet is determined to visit the grandparents he hasn’t seen since before the first lockdown.

Walking with his dad, Kevin, 49, has already raised an amazing £1,000 for Help for Heroes, but hopes to raise much more by doing this challenge.

They will set off tomorrow Saturday (August 14) from their local rugby club, Old Laurentians where Arthur is an under 15s player and walk approximately 20 miles each day off road along tracks, footpaths and canal paths.

Overnight stays in Stratford tomorrow night and in Evesham on Sunday will mark the start of their journey.

They hope to complete their challenge in seven days, finishing at Llanhilleth Rugby Club, South Wales where they will be met by Arthur’s maternal grandparents Pam and Wayne Ellis, his mum, Lydia, 49, and a host of other family and supporters.

They will also stay with Kevin’s parents, Jean and Charlie in Stratford en route.

Arthur, who joined the Army cadets as soon as he was able at 13, said: “I always like to keep active and seeing what Sir Captain Tom did made me start thinking about what challenge I could do. It’s been so long since I saw my Nan and Grandad, so I asked my dad if it was possible to walk to their house and it started from there.

“When I leave school I want to join the Army as a medic, an STA Patrols Special Observer or an Infantry soldier. So, it felt right use this walk to raise money for Help for Heroes as I realise how much our servicemen and women have done for us over the years.

“And, although they’re tough, there are lots of them who need help – and it’s good to know that there is a charity there to help just in case I ever need it.”

Unfortunately, their training has not gone quite to plan. Arthur fell off his skateboard three weeks ago, straining his lateral ligament in his ankle and spent a week on crutches.

He has only just started walking properly again but is still determined to do the walk, even though he may suffer a bit more than he would have.

Proud dad Kevin said: “Since Arthur had his idea for the challenge things have snowballed and he’s had such fantastic support. We’ve had a lot of local donations and local businesses helping us with fundraising too, plus the Old Laurentian Rugby Club has a lot of ex-military who are keen to help and give us a good send off.

“I’m really proud of what Arthur is doing and happy to be doing it alongside him. You see many bad news stories about young people, so it’s important to show that there are youngsters out there who want to make a difference.”

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