Afghanistan veteran Mark Harding is a long-standing supporter and ambassador for our charity. Achieving many fundraising milestones in the past, Mark’s next mission, ‘Project Belief’, aims to raise an incredible £2.5 million in support of charities including ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

Mark served with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment for 16 years, mostly as a sniper with the Reconnaissance platoon. In 2010, while on a routine patrol in Afghanistan, Mark was shot by a Taliban sniper, which resulted in him being paralysed from the neck down. Despite the predictions of his doctors, Mark was determined to overcome his injuries and learn to walk again. Read his full story here.

Mark with his dog Bonnie.

His rehabilitation journey hasn’t been easy. But through sheer determination and support from our charity along the way, Mark has since not only made great personal progress but also felt driven to give back to those in need through fundraising. His efforts have been recognised on a national scale, and last year Mark was crowned Regional Fundraiser of the Year at the Pride of Britain Awards.

Project Belief was conceived during his rehabilitation journey. The idea originated from Mark’s unstoppable desire to walk alongside his beloved dog, Bonnie. He says: “During my time in hospital I had my belief which gave me the foundations on which Project Belief was built.

Mark at the Pride of Britain awards ceremony.

Between 2022 and 2023, Mark’s team will be planning stages of several fundraising events he will embark on. These include completing The Munros in Scotland, Wales and Ireland, a Dragon Boat event, a skydive and the Great North Run.

Project Belief will be supporting Armed Forces charities and organisations, as well as local communities in Cumbria that are close to Mark’s heart. A goal of £500,000 is set to be raised for our charity and an additional £500,000 for Walking With The Wounded, with other funds going towards other charities such as Cash for Kids Cumbria (£100,000) and Calderwood House Hostel (£150,000).

But Mark’s biggest goal is to raise £1 million for five-year-old Isabelle. Coming from a military family, she has already experienced a very tough fight for survival. In July 2021, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer. The treatment currently available in the UK does not provide an option for a cure, however, in the US, a treatment with the potential for better results is possible.

We are thrilled to hear about Project Belief and will be cheering Mark along the way as he tackles each challenge. If you would like to support Mark’s cause or find out more, visit: .

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