Former Mason leader taking on 100km trek - in the SAHARA

Stephen Collins, who has been in training for his Sahara walk challenge, with Paul Denovan, SSAFA Divisional Coordinator

Stephen Collins, who has been in training for his Sahara walk challenge, with Paul Denovan, SSAFA Divisional Coordinator - Credit: SSAFA

A charitable North Somerset walker is to take on a monumental challenge for a good cause.

Stephen Collings, a Past Master and Charity Steward of the Lodge of Agriculture Freemasons in Yatton, is preparing to take on a 100km trek in the Sahara Desert.

Mr Collings is in training for the effort, set to take place this year, and is fundraising for the Armed Forces Charity, SSAFA.

He aims to complete the 100km trek over a five-day period, climbing 3,000 feet to the summit of Jebel El Mrakib.

The intrepid fundraiser will also be sleeping under a canopy of stars; with scorpions, camel spiders and mosquitoes to keep him company. 

Stephen has taken this challenge on to raise money and awareness for those veterans and their families that are in need – particularly in Somerset.

"SSAFA aims is to relieve need, suffering and distress amongst the Armed Forces, veterans and their families in order to support their independence and dignity," said a spokesperson.

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"The charity provides welfare advice and financial assistance and helps with issues such as home adaptations, debts, access to benefits and to address social isolation.

"In Somerset, this year, SSAFA has helped well over 100 clients; assistance ranging from sign-posting to relocation and associated expenses. 

"Around 50 clients have been assigned a caseworker and over £100,000 has been drawn down by SSAFA caseworkers to assist these clients."

Anyone able to donate to Mr Collings' appeal can log on to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stephen-collings

For more on the work of SSAFA and to volunteer, visit www.ssafa.org.uk/volunteer.