ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is thrilled that Mark Harding, Army veteran and charity campaigner, has reached the finals of the 2023 Soldiering On Awards, which recognise the outstanding achievements of people, teams and businesses who work in support of the Armed Forces community.

Earlier this year, our charity nominated Mark for the ‘Inspiration Award’ category in recognition of his outstanding record as a fundraiser for military charities and his courage in overcoming the serious injuries sustained during his Army career. Reaching the final shortlist of three candidates in this category is, in itself, a wonderful achievement.

In 2010, Mark was serving with the Duke of Lancaster’s regiment in Afghanistan when he was shot in the neck. His spinal cord was severed, which left him paralysed from the neck down. However, through sheer grit and incredible determination, he learned to walk again using crutches. He has excelled in Paralympic kayaking and was the first disabled athlete to represent GB in the 2016 European Dragon Boat championships.

Mark (left) at a fundraising event with a fellow veteran Rick (right)

Mark has also raised thousands of pounds for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and other charities, including local organisations in Cumbria. In 2021, he was a finalist in the National Pride of Britain Awards and has undertaken many amazing challenges; for example, he was the first UK quadriplegic to complete the Coast-to-Coast walk (193 miles in 6 days). He is currently walking from John O’Groats to Lands End for our partner charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which supports bereaved military children.

Voting for the ‘Inspiration Award’ category will open on 18 July and it closes on 6 August: https://soldieringon.org/2023-award-categories-2/

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