Sunderland soldier gears up for eight-day race across Europe

Soldier Mick Clark (left) who is undertaking a road trip to raise funds for the Forces charity SSAFA. Pictured with Mick is Peter Carlin of SSAFA

Soldier Mick Clark (left) who is undertaking a road trip to raise funds for the Forces charity SSAFA. Pictured with Mick is Peter Carlin of SSAFA

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A WEARSIDE soldier is gearing up for a eight-day endurance race across Europe.

Corporal Mick Clark, who serves with the 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, will attempt the Rally for Heroes in aid of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), a national charity for current and former members of the Armed Forces and their families.

It is the third time the 37-year-old, from Sunderland, has signed up for the event, which last year raised £123,000.

“We’re hoping to raise a lot of money for the charity,” he said. “It’s a group that does amazing work and we want to support it in any way we can.”

It is expected the feat, which includes routes through England, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Italy, will attract more than 50 drivers, with Cpl Clark and wife Paula taking to the road in a sponsored BMW.

“We’re both looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s going to be tough, but we’re confident of getting through it.”

Ahead of the race next year, Cpl Clark, who was handed a Pride of Wearside Award for his work and dedication, plans to travel to the North East from his base in Germany to take part in a series of fund-raising drives.

“The arrangements are going really well,” said the dad-of-one. “It’s still a long way off, so there’s plenty of time, but everything is going according to plan and we’re just trying to get as much support as possible.”

As well as dozens of smaller supporters, the event regularly attracts large sponsors.

Peter Carlin-Page, a volunteer fund-raiser and care worker with SSAFA, said the feat would be a “huge help” to the charity.

“We’re really glad of the support,” said Peter, from Whitburn.

“We work with a range of people, from 20-year-olds who have maybe just left the Armed Forces, to veterans who served in the Second World War.

“We try to help in any way we can.”

To sponsor Cpl Clark, email mick@ralllyforheroes.com.

For more information about the fund-raiser, visit www.rallyforheroes.com.