A SOLDIER from Redditch who was awarded a medal for his work to train forces in Ukraine has raised thousands of pounds in a gruelling fundraising challenge to help people in the war-torn country.

CSgt Stuart Collins trekked 80 miles in 29 hours in a full army kit, from his base in Wiltshire to the Ukrainian Embassy in London on March 23 to raise money for humanitarian aid in Ukraine following the invasion of Russian forces.

The 43-year-old was inspired to act due to his close personal ties to Ukraine as in 2017 he trained members of the Ukrainian army.

In recognition of his hard work, he was awarded a medal from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence which was presented to him by the then President of Ukraine, making him the first person outside of the Ukrainian army to be awarded the accolade.

He was joined on the challenge with his brother Matt and his friend Shaun Mills, with his wife Louise on hand with logistical support.

Speaking after the challenge, Stuart said: “I want to say a massive thank you for everyone’s support, all the people who donated and sent messages. It was really good and kept us going, it was fantastic.”

The team took on a ‘tabbing’ challenge which is a military term for walking at a fast pace with a weighted bergen, or rucksack.

They took on the trek draped in the Ukrainian flag and received messages of support from well-wishers, with people honking their car horns and giving donations on the road.

Upon arriving in London they were met by members of British-Ukrainian Aid team and a representative of the Ukrainian Embassy in London.

The trek has so far raised almost £3,000 for British Ukrainian Aid to help humanitarian work on the ground in Ukraine.


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