£50,000 challenge for a 50th birthday

A BRAMPTON man is aiming to mark his 50th birthday by raising £50,000 for charity. Terry Downing, 49, plans to lose up to 50lb in weight before cycling from Portsmouth to Paris and then, in a separate event, walking about 50 miles. The challenge – which

A BRAMPTON man is aiming to mark his 50th birthday by raising £50,000 for charity.

Terry Downing, 49, plans to lose up to 50lb in weight before cycling from Portsmouth to Paris and then, in a separate event, walking about 50 miles.

The challenge - which Mr Downing has called Operation 50 for 50 - will aid Help for Heroes, a charity that supports members of the British armed forces who have been wounded.

However, to make sure it succeeds, Mr Downing, needs more people to get involved.


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The former army corporal, who served as a communications technician with the Royal Signal Corps from 1979 to 1985 in Europe, the Falklands, Chile and Senegal, is looking for both sponsors and people to join him on the walk.

His first challenge - after losing some weight - will be to complete the Band of Brothers bicycle ride from Portsmouth to Paris on May 24. The ride goes through the Normandy battle fields to re-trace the steps of the allied invasion on D-Day.

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Mr Downing, who is now an independent telecommunications and IT consultant, then wants to take part in the Pathfinder March on June 20. Walkers set off at 4am and have 20 hours to complete the 46-mile route around four Cambridgeshire airbases.

"I wanted to do something to commemorate being 50 and I wanted to do something for Help the Heroes," Mr Downing, told The Hunts Post. "Lots of people are coming back [from conflicts] with physical and mental problems and they need funding to help them to get better and to decide whether they want to go back to the army or get a civilian job.

"My father was in the army with the Royal Artillery. In history our family has always been involved with the armed forces.

"I have two daughters and I wouldn't mind if either of them wanted to join the army because it's a great life and it helped me to develop into the person I am today.

"The fundraising idea basically stretched into something quite difficult to try and achieve with the help of others.

"It will be a challenge to work towards.

"Now we want to get 50 people or more to take part in it and help raise the money."

He added: "We're going to put a book together that we be a physical register of people that have contributed at least £50. It will be 50 pages with 50 slots for people to have their name and logo and it will be something to show the troops and the public.

"We want to get people to support our troops. Also the sale of the book can make money and a local printer will print it for us.

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