A VETERAN who has raised tens of thousands of pounds for a military charity is to embark on one final challenge.

Phil Bartlett will be running an astonishing 268 miles from Colchester to Catterick in just 18 days completing an average of 15 miles a day for Help for Heroes.

He will be starting and finishing at the Help for Heroes recovery centres in each town and aiming to finishing on his 60th birthday.

Phil said: “Training has been a little hit and miss.

“I have had a few minor injuries that has not allowed me to do as many miles as I would have liked.

“I am at this moment recovering from a small tear in my hamstring and have done no training for a while but I’m doing conditioning exercises daily.

“Despite this I feel excited to be doing this challenge.

“Whether my body will hold out we will have to wait and see. At aged 59-years-old this is the biggest challenge I’ve attempted”.

Phil, from Spennymoor in County Durham, joined the Royal Corps of Transport in 1974.

After tours in Germany, Northern Ireland, Canada and the Falklands Phil left the Army in 1991 having reached the rank of corporal.

The experience prompted Phil to raise money in aid of Help for Heroes which runs the recovery centre Chavasse VC House in Colchester and others around the country dedicated to the recovery of servicemen and women.

So far he has raised £80,000 after undertaking arduous challenges.

Phil said: “When you join the Armed Forces you become a member of a family.

“You may not know them all but family they still are.

“When members of that family need support you try to do your best to help them. I feel that I have an obligation to support them in any way I can.”

To follow Phil’s journey click here or donate here