Tabbing for the Troops
At 0800hours on Saturday 16 August 2014, Karl, David and Cameron Wingate, three brothers from North Shields, set off on a sponsored crossing of Hadrian’s Wall from Segenedum, Wallsend to Bowness on Solway……a distance of 75 miles.
Nowt unusual in that you might think…..hundreds of walkers do it year-round? But you’d be wrong. For these three intrepid young men aimed to complete the distance by ‘Tabbing for the Troops’ in……. 24 HOURS!!!!
Karl(26), an ‘ex-Siggy’ , whose idea it was to undertake the challenge on behalf of ‘Support our Soldiers’, David(30) a serving Signaller presently on post-Afghan tour leave and Cameron(21), who recently graduated as an Engineer, were waved off at 0800 hours by Elaine Middlemiss, AC/Trustee North East region.
Ably supported by mum Donna, dad Dave, Karl’s girlfriend Nicole and David’s wife Leanne, who accompanied them by car providing ‘a brew’ and sustenance at checkpoints en route, on what was the wettest and windiest night of the year so far, the lads battled on to complete the journey within their allotted time. Their dad, Dave joined them after 10 miles in for moral support, no mean feat in itself! (no pun intended!)
There to meet them at journey’s end, were Agnes (CEO, SOS) and Ryan (Cumbria AC/Trustee) as well as Ryan’s faithful ‘white van man’ and SOS mate Mitch, who manned the frying pan and kettle to provide welcome bacon butties and a brew for the whole team.
Unfortunately, blisters and lost toenails resulted for the lads but their resolve, good humour and abounding support for their present and former colleagues was extremely humbling.
Our admiration and gratitude knows no bounds for what these young men achieved in their support of SOS and our service personnel, and it was indeed a pleasure to welcome them as ‘friends of SOS’…… and to send them on their way to some well-earned RnR, with a few Scottish goodies to aid recovery.
Final figures for funds raised are still to be realised but will be used proportionately to provide welfare parcels for overseas troops in the first instance and to boost the total for our parallel project of raising a further £20K to fund a second assistance dog for an injured veteran….(we have a head, tail and front paw so far..☺)!
Donations can still be registered here https://www.justgiving.com/Nicole-Smee
or via the donations link on www.supportoursoldiers.org.uk
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