Published: 06:00, 12 November 2020
A former soldier will embark on a road trip around the UK’s coastline to raise money for a children’s charity.
Paul Green was a corporal trained in bomb disposal and search in the Royal Engineers, serving in war zones in Iraq and Bosnia, among others.
Following his 18 years service in the British Army, the 53-year-old was diagnosed with chronic complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 2012.
But, even though he faces his own struggles, Paul said he was “up for a challenge” to raise money for Demelza Hospice Care for Children.
Starting the road trip from the charity’s Bobbing hospice, near Sittingbourne, at 11.30am on December 2, Paul will be joined in his campervan by his trusted dog, Carlos.
Paul, who lives in Snodland, said: “I know the charity’s funding is down because of Covid-19 so I wanted to do something to help. I also wanted to do it during the winter for it to be a challenge for me, rather than a summer jolly around the country.
“I’ll be travelling the complete coastal route of the UK, heading up the east coast. I’m a bit apprehensive about the weather in some parts, but I can’t wait. I’m getting really excited about it.”
As well as raising money for the charity, Paul aims to raise awareness of PTSD.
“It’s so important to talk about PTSD and to raise as much awareness of it as possible,” he said. “For me, this adventure will be something good to focus on. I’ve spent ages as a recluse, that’s why I got my campervan – it’s one of my safe zones. The amount of therapy you can get by sitting in a field or being surrounded by beautiful landscapes is unreal.”
When asked why he chose to support Demelza in particular, Paul said the charity had, in the past, supported friends of his and their children.
“Demelza does a fantastic job, providing specialist care and emotional support for children with terminal conditions, and their loved ones, so they can enjoy their time together as a family for as long as they have,” he said.
“Every year, their work is a lifeline to over 750 children and their families throughout Kent and further afield, but they are almost dependent on the generosity of their supporters to provide the funds that keep their services going.”
He added: “Some of the children in their care are never going to see the beautiful landscapes we have around the country but, hopefully, they can watch my daily vlog and drone footage on Youtube and be part of the journey too.”
Paul is hoping to complete the trip – covering more than 11,000 miles – within six weeks.
So far, he has raised £745 of his £1,200 target.