Teens walk to country park to raise money

Walk for Help for Heroes rep ep''Left to Right: Mark Nicholls, 16, and friend Ashley Parker, 18. ''They walked from Havant to Queen Elizabeth Country Park and back again for Help for Heroes.
Walk for Help for Heroes rep ep''Left to Right: Mark Nicholls, 16, and friend Ashley Parker, 18. ''They walked from Havant to Queen Elizabeth Country Park and back again for Help for Heroes.
A3 near Liphook. Picture: Google Maps

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TWO teenagers walked 24 miles to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Mark Nicholls, 16, and friend Ashley Parker, 18, embarked on the 24-mile walk to raise money for the charity which helps servicemen and women.

Mark chose Help For Heroes in memory of David O’Connor who was a Royal Marine from Havant.

David served in the 40 Commando and died while on patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan in October.

The pair left St Faith’s Church, North Street, Havant, and walked through Emsworth, Rowlands Castle and along the A3.

Mark and Ashley wore full army uniform and boots and carried 30kg to 50kg back packs to pay tribute to David.

Mark, from Botley Drive, Leigh park, said: ‘This is the second time I have done something like this.

‘The first time, I walked 20 miles but thought I would push myself a little more and do something bigger.

‘It was only an extra four miles but you definitely feel it.

‘It was exhausting as the weather was quite sunny on the way up there and it was mostly uphill.

‘We had to take more stops than we thought so it took us slightly longer.’

The boys spent three days camping in the country park before walking back.

Mark added: ‘We spent the three days keeping fit by doing a number of physical activities which also stopped us from being bored.

‘We did running, long treks and drills as well as basic physical training so all in all in the three days we covered about 35 miles.

‘We wanted to get a rough idea of what the Royal Marine Commandos would do day to day while out on tour.’

The pair raised around £150 which will go to the Royal Marine section of the Help for Heroes charity.