The Pilgrim Bandits, a group of former soldiers, including one who suffered brain damage and lost both legs in a blast in Afghanistan, are taking part in a 1,000-mile charity cycle ride and passed through Herefordshire yesterday, stopping off at Hereford Cathedral before heading on to Ross-on-Wye.

L/Bombardier Ben Parkinson, from Doncaster, has joined nine other amputee veterans to pedal from John O’ Groats to Land’s End over 13 days.

The team is raising funds for a charity that helps injured soldiers and awareness about Motor Neurone Disease.

L/Bdr Parkinson said he had waited “too long” for the challenge.

The 36-year-old has teamed up with fellow amputees from Birmingham, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, London, Plymouth and Stoke-on-Trent, as well as a number of firefighters for the charitable expedition.

Ben said:

“It’s been a long time in lockdown and I haven’t seen anybody for months.

“There’s always someone struggling and now it’s my chance to support John to get him on his way.”

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Photo Credit: Cameron M-Hill Photography