Wounded veteran from Northern Ireland Robert Maxwell determined to complete 600-mile trek having lost his two companions along the way

Former Royal Irish Ranger Robert Maxwell has been forced to go it alone on a 600-mile trek to raise funds for veterans, but said he will see it through.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 1:22 pm
Royal Irish Regiment veteran Robert Maxwell

The Co Down man started the ‘Walk of Hope’ on Sunday from St Paul’s Cathedral in London with two military friends, but within two days both of them had to drop out.

Robert, who helps to run the Let’s Do veterans support charity, said: “There was a Navy guy and an Army guy and me.

“The Navy guy hurt himself, so we lost him. He’d come up from the south of England, he was pretty gutted but we had to let him go.

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Robert Maxwell in St Paul’s Cathedral with Rev Canon Dr Paula Gooder before setting out on the 'Walk of Hope'

“I lost my right hand man last night because he’s been called up. He’s been deployed to Scotland because of this new variant.

He added: “I’ve never started something that I’ve never finished – this will be no different.”

Walking via St Albans and Liverpool as well as calling at the Isle of Man it’s not only going to be a tough challenge for Robert, but a largely unknown one as he still has no idea where he will rest or get shelter along the trek.

He said: “I know I’ll need a lot of willpower but I also need a lot of support along the way, not just in giving but also in maybe a bit of shelter and even encouragement.”

Robert, who lost an arm in pioneering harvesting surgery to save his leg following a hit-and-run motorcycle accident, is aiming to raise £10,000 to support veterans and the NHS as well as welfare funds for two regiments supporting him – the Royal Irish Regiment and The Rifles.

He said: “There’s a lot of things we plan to establish for both veterans and NHS staff through Let’s Do support charity and really can’t do this on our own.

“It’s a bit of a do or die mission to lift the profile of the charity. The problem that we have as an organisation is that it takes £5,000 just to run it from an admin perspective.

“At the minute we’re in negative equity. If it doesn’t work out it’s bye, bye.”

Robert was invited to take part in the morning service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Sunday before setting out on a 600-mile trek back to St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.

Today, Robert hopes to be passing the 100-mile mark: “I did St Paul’s to St Albans on Sunday – that’s about 28 miles. Yesterday was about 31 or 32.”

He said that today was proving a bit tougher because he was on his own, but he is determined to stay on course.

Robert said: “My aim is to get the sailing back to Belfast on Monday, December 6, then it will be whatever time it takes me to walk through Dargan to get to St Anne’s.”

Further info can be found on www.letsdoevents.info

To donate to the Walk of Hope go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/letsdo

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