Former Royal Green Jacket Dave Dee will be enduring one of the toughest hikes in the world later this month – the Belgium Death March –with every step along the 100 kilometre route taking him closer to his goal of raising funds to help fellow soldiers.
Dave, practice administrator at Atkins Hope LLP, Croydon’s premier family law firm, aims to complete the notorious ‘Dodentocht’ in less than 20 hours, in aid of Care for Casualties, which provides first line support for soldiers injured on operations, their families and the families of those killed. Casualties suffered by the Rifles in recent conflicts include 50 deaths, including young Croydon father Danny Simpson, killed in Afghanistan in 2009, as well as than 300 serious injuries.
“I wanted to raise the money and knew it would need to be a really good challenge to make a difference,” said Dave, who also works as a personal trainer. “People know I’m up for a challenge so it had to be the toughest thing I could think of to make sure I got the support.”
He is being supported by Atkins Hope LLP, which has a long history of backing regimental charities as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, stretching back to one of its founding partners Godfrey Hope, who served in the TA. In addition to fundraising events, staff recently dispatched parcels of essentials, such as soap, shaving foam, razors, toothbrushes, etc, to troops currently serving in Afghanistan.
Charlotte Collier, Managing Partner at Atkins Hope LLP, said: “We often represent people who have suffered horrific, life-changing injuries and so we understand the effect that such trauma can have on people’s lives and want to do everything we can to support those who suffer these kind of injuries while representing our country in the military.”
The Dodentocht, or Belgium Death March, takes place on August 12th and has achieved notoriety over the years as one of the toughest hiking challenges in the world – last year one competitor, an experienced walker, collapsed and died 300 yards from the finish line.
Dave hopes that completing the march will help him raise at least £2,500 for Care for Casualties, which works specifically to support The Rifles, the descendent regiment of Dave’s own regiment, the Royal Green Jackets. The largest infantry regiment in the British Army, The Rifles has suffered more fatalities than any other regiment to date on current operations and was granted the Freedom of Croydon earlier this year.
“The Rifles are due back in Afghanistan in September and it is inevitable that the resources of Care for Casualties will be called on again,” said Dave, who completed a 65 mile run to Pegasus Bridge in 2009 in aid of Help for Heroes and other service charities.
“The work Care for Casualties does for injured servicemen and their families as well as the families of those killed is essential and I would like to make sure I raise even more this time to help the charity continue to provide this vital support.”
Anyone wishing to support Dave’s efforts to raise funds for Care for Casualties can find out more at www.justgiving.com/Dave-Dee.
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