Warminster walkers raise £20K for charity that helps soldiers

This Is Wiltshire: Tim Shapland, front row centre in dark shirt, with fellow Longstrider volunteers who have helped him raise over £20,000 for the Combat Stress charity Tim Shapland, front row centre in dark shirt, with fellow Longstrider volunteers who have helped him raise over £20,000 for the Combat Stress charity

WARMINSTER-based businessman Tim Shapland has raised over £20,000 during the last year for forces charity Combat Stress through a series of walks covering 100 miles.

Mr Shapland, who works as business services director for defence support company Landmarc Support Services, set up Project Longstride to make use of a network of public footpaths surrounding the UK’s military training areas.

The walks have seen him hiking across locations all over the country, including Dartmoor, Argyll, Northum-berland, the Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire and Norfolk.

Each walk was open to willing volunteers, nicknamed Longstriders, including staff from the Army’s Ranges at Salisbury Plain, to help boost the funds.

Mr Shapland said: “It is staggering that we have managed to raise £20,000. I initially said I wanted to raise £10,000 as it was a figure that would get headlines, but I didn’t know how I would get that.

“The walks took place from May through to September, with a final one in December, and after taking off gradually, I was humbled many times by some large acts of generosity.

“To reach double the target amount was incredible. The charity is less well known compared to some of the other service charities but the work it does is very important, which is why I chose it.

“The series of walks have been brilliant and there is a lot of cultural history and great scenery that can be seen by making the most of the public footpaths surrounding military training land.”

Combat Stress is a charity which specialises in the care of veterans’ mental health, supporting more than 5,400 ex-Service men and women suffering from conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

Mr Shapland added: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to all those who have supported me, and helped bring in funds for Combat Stress.”

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