130 miles for mum

Mark Ellis, of Tilly Bailey & Irvine shows his support for John Bell (right)
Mark Ellis, of Tilly Bailey & Irvine shows his support for John Bell (right)

PROUD John Bell doesn’t do things by halves.

When he decided to raise money in memory of his mum Beverley, he opted for the ultimate in challenges.

John's mum Beverley Bell with her grandchildren

John's mum Beverley Bell with her grandchildren

He will march the equivalent of five marathons in five days to raise money for the Veterans Charity.

But it’s all for a fantastic reason as he will be continuing the passion for fundraising first shown by his mother, Beverley Bell, who was well known for raising money for the University Hospital of Hartlepool’s Cancer Unit.

Beverley battled breast cancer for many years, before losing her fight last December aged 63.

In her memory, John is in training for the Forces March. It’s an event in which walkers, runner and hand-cyclists complete 130 miles in five days.

The event takes place in Devon from this Wednesday to Sunday. It is a challenge he already knows plenty about.

John, from Greatham, works for Ron Perry Breakdown and Recovery Ltd. His brother has completed the challenge for the last two years, with John as support driver.

This year, his brother and father are acting as his support team.

John, 34, said: “Mum began supporting the charity when my brother took part in the Forces March. When I told her of my plan to participate, it put such a smile on her face.

“At this stage, I’m both excited and daunted. I want to get to Devon and get ready to go. However, I’ve never put my body through anything like this, and I’m not sure what I’ll be like afterwards.”

Beverley worked for Tilly Bailey & Irvine Solicitors in the firm’s Hartlepool-based investment department.

The local legal firm is donating £1 for every mile of the endurance race, in Beverley’s memory.

Mark Ellis, partner with Tilly Bailey & Irvine Solicitors, said: “Beverley was an inspiration to all of us at Tilly Bailey & Irvine Solicitors with her regular fundraising events.

“It comes as no surprise that her son is following in her footsteps, taking on an incredible challenge in his mother’s memory. We are glad to be able to support him and wish him every success.”

To support John, visit his sponsorship page at www.justgiving.com/John-Bell231.

The Veterans Charity, which was one of Beverley’s favourite charities, was founded in 2008 to support to veterans of all generations, focusing on the provision of everyday items including clothing, household goods and communication equipment, as well as vital mobility provisions.