British Army veterans to tackle 11 days of charity challenges in Remembrance fundraiser for Royal British Legion
FOUNDERS of an armed forces charity which stops suicidal troops from taking their lives are bracing themselves for a gruelling Remembrance fundraiser.
Pals Stephen James and Dan Arnold, who run Southsea-based All Call Signs, are completing 11 days of physical challenges to honour fallen comrades.
Beginning on Sunday, the duo will complete a different 11km each day for 11 days until November 11 – Armistice Day.
The effort is all in aid of the military charity the Royal British Legion, which is facing a fundraising crisis after many of its key events were axed following the coronavirus outbreak.
Retired soldier Stephen, 32, said: ‘The Poppy Appeal is the biggest yearly fundraiser for the military community.
‘Covid has seen the number of poppy sellers on the streets slashed almost to nothing. It’s never been more important to find more diverse ways of raising funds.
‘This is us doing what we can to make sure veterans and service personnel don’t miss out on vital services, especially given the current climate is likely to create an increase in support needed.’
Over the 11 days, the pair of veterans will complete a series of runs, rides, swims, kayaks, triathlons and treks – sometimes laden with weighted backpacks.
The effort will culminate in a ‘Top Gear-style’ race through Portsmouth to the Cenotaph in time for the traditional two-minute silence at 11am.
One of the charity founders will be attempting to run 11km through the city while the other will use public transport to get to the finishing line.
The charity duo – who were recently praised by prime minister Boris Johnson for their efforts to shine a light on military mental health issues – hope their fundraiser will drum up £2,000 for the Royal British Legion.
Afghanistan veteran Dan, 34, said the charity was close to their hearts and added: ‘We see first hand what the legion does for veterans, service personnel and their families. Not to mention the countless other organisations that receive funding, guidance and support from them every day. Whatever we can do, we’ll do.’
To donate to their fundraiser, see: gofundme.com/f/11k-11-ways-for-11-days
The fundraiser comes as The News continues to call on the people of Portsmouth to show their respect for the nation’s military personnel, as part of the Stand Out for Heroes campaign.
People are urged to mark a two-minute silence from their doorsteps, balconies and gardens on on Remembrance Sunday – November 8 = and Armistice Day on November 11.