USUALLY, as a journalist and author, Bill Hayton would spend most hours at his desk fingers running over a keyboard.

However, next month he will be lacing up his boots and tackling the gruelling ten mile Army assault course as he takes part in the Paras 10.

Bill is a BBC producer, who has a PhD in politics and international studies.

But he will be thrown out of his comfort zone to muddy MoD land to take part in what is known as the ultimate endurance test.

Bill is taking up the gauntlet for a worthy cause as he is also a trustee for Citizens Advice Colchester, which provides free advice for people in trouble with debt, housing, and employment.

Last year, the service helped more than 6,800 people.

This year, Citizens Advice Colchester is celebrating its 80th year but is facing its own challenge as it faces a funding crisis.

Bill, who lives in Colchester, hopes he will generate sponsorship in return for his blood, sweat and tears.

He said: “The race is ten miles in boots while carrying a 35lb pack.

“It’ll be a challenge, but worth it to preserve the work of Citizens Advice Colchester.”

The challenge will take place at Colchester Garrison on May 18 with the testing route, including obstacles and a stream crossing.

However, Bill said it is still nothing compared to the challenging work Citizens Advice staff face every day.

He said: “I have been walking in the hills before but not running.

“Having to run ten miles with a pack on my back seems like a tall order.

“I tried it with boots on for the first time and it was even tougher.

“I’m not sure my chiropractor will be pleased with me.”

There is also a time limit of three hours, so for a journalist and author, there will be no slacking.

But Bill is determined and he says the physical challenges will not be as touch as the emotional ones experienced by clients calling on the assistance of Citizens Advice Colchester and the staff who help them.

He said: “All I have to do is carry a heavy bag, while staff at Citizens’ Advice are speaking to people with difficult problems.”

Citizens Advice Colchester is facing an uphill battle for funding.

Last month, the charity wrote to Colchester Council condemning its funding allocation which, it says, could put the future of the service at risk.

The council gave the service £25,000 but that was half of the amount it provided last financial year and before that it received £101,791.

Bill said it was a difficult time for the service, which has achieved so much.

He said: “People don’t realise it’s a local charity.

“It was set up to settle the disruption during the Second World War but it broadened into things like debt and supporting people who have lost jobs unfairly.

“It’s about helping people who don’t get a fair deal from the system.”

To support Bill, visit