Ten-year-old double amputee Lydia will be joining West Country policemen on a charity trek for injured Royal Marines.
BRAVE young double amputee Lydia Cross from Braunton, is determined to do what she can to help injured servicemen in the Royal Marines and this Saturday will be joining two local policemen on their charity ‘yomp’ to London.
Lydia, 10, who lost both her legs to meningitis in 2003, will join policemen Jim Hunt from Barnstaple and Mark Hoar from Bridgwater as they attempt a gruelling 185 mile ‘yomping’ challenge from the Royal Marines barracks at Lympstone to central London as part of a bid to raise £1 million for Commando 999.
She and her father Tony, who formerly served as a Commando with the Royal Logistics Corps, will accompany the policemen on the first 30 miles of their challenge, Lydia using her racing wheelchair.
Lydia said: “My dad used to be a Commando, so when I heard what Jim and Mark were doing, I couldn’t think of a better way to help all the injured Servicemen. I have just started racing in my new wheelchair and hope to take part in next year’s London mini-marathon, so it will be great training for me”
Mark and Jim will continue the ‘yomp’ up the A303 to Central London in order to take part in the annual Commando 999 Speedmarch on November 12th.
Once they reach the starting point, the Speedmarch marathon will cover a 26 mile course across Central London, passing landmarks including Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, Oxford Street and Trafalgar Square.
Jim said: “Commando 999 is such a worthwhile cause as they really help the boys who are returning from Afghanistan and other areas of conflict. The yomp was a great excuse to have a bit of an adventure around the UK and put our fitness levels to the test. We are going to be on the road for five days.”
Commando 999 is created by former Royal Marines Commandos who are now serving in the UK emergency services. This includes firefighters, ambulance servicemen and police officers. They aim to raise over £1m for the Royal Marines Association by 2014.