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Ex-soldier travelling round UK on mobility scooter makes pit stop in Rainham

08:32 20 March 2014

Ex-soldier Mark Anderson has so far raised around £21,000 for charities by riding on his mobility scooter across Britian

Ex-soldier Mark Anderson has so far raised around £21,000 for charities by riding on his mobility scooter across Britian

Archant

An ex-soldier, who is travelling around Britain in a mobility scooter for good causes with only his two cats for company, made a pit stop in Havering this week.

Mark Anderson, of Swansea, will spend two years criss-crossing Britain for charities Help for Heroes, the Royal British Legion, Lifeboats, and SSAFA forces.

He arrived at Tesco supermarket, in Bridge Road, Rainham, on Monday.

He said: “I thought it would be a really fun way of helping a lot of people and the fact I have been given so much support encourages me to keep going.”

Mark was a soldier with the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Brigade from 1984. He did two tours in Northern Ireland, spent a year in Cyprus and the rest of his time he served in West Germany.

But in 1992, he dislocated his right knee in an operation and developed septicaemia.

It put a stop to his army career and forced him to use a mobility scooter.

Mark said: “It was hard for me at first but these things happen and you’ve just got to get on with them as best you can.”

However, a passing comment from a member of the public sowed the seed of his current venture.

“The guy just made a joke about me riding across Britain in it and almost straight away it seemed like a good idea,” said Mark.

It has been 348 days since he began his journey, sleeping in supermarkets and fire stations along his epic route.

But he isn’t alone; he has his furry sidekicks, Missy and Smudge, to keep him company.

He said: “It would have been cruel of me to stick them in a cattery for two years so I thought it would be better to take them with me instead.”

Mark is now Kent-bound and has raised close to a staggering £21,000 for his chosen charities.

Mark added: “Everyone I have come across has been so kind and even though they may think I’m a tad bonkers, they have been donating a lot of money and this is what I thank them for.”

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