July 26 2014 Latest news:
by Hayley Anderson, Reporter
Thursday, March 20, 2014
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.”