A HELICOPTER pilot who is walking around the coast of the UK and Ireland in aid of injured colleagues has stopped off in Colchester.

Lieutenant officer Matthew Brown made a short detour to the garrison town on Friday as part of an 11,000-mile coastal trek to raise funds for Help for Heroes.

The 39-year-old has collected more than £400,000 for the military charity since he set out on August 27, in Edinburgh, immediately after returning from Afghanistan.

He will not finish until December 2011, at the earliest, averaging 20 to 30 miles a day.

He said: “Being a pilot, I have had to rescue a lot of guys who were injured, who had been shot at or been in landmine situations.

“I know once they are off the helicopter, I’ll never see them again, as they will have to go home and be rehabilitated, and spend the rest of their lives in wheelchairs.

“Really there isn’t much help for them, so this is why this charity was set up.”

To sponsor Mr Brown, visit www.bmycharity.com/coastaltrek