A FORMER Territorial Army soldier is taking part in an epic 340-mile walk to help raise money for two military charities.

Graham Bell, 28, is walking from Newport to Chester with five former soldiers, including his brother, in aid of Help the Heroes and the Royal British Legion.

Graham, of Yale Park, Wrexham, decided to take part in the walk to show support for a number of friends in the Army and Territorial Army who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The group will not be taking a direct route as the walk includes climbs in the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia.

Graham said: “My brother asked me to do it and I wanted to take part myself for all the people I know.

“We’ve all lost someone we know so that’s why I thought it would be a good idea to do it.”

As well as brother Colin, 30, others taking part include Michael Mclaughlin, Paul Baston, Michael Jones and Stuart Davies, all from Newport, who served together on a tour of Iraq in 2004.

As Graham is the only member of the group based in North Wales, he has had to do his training solo.

He said: “I did 30 miles on Sunday – that took me about 12 hours!”

Mr Mclaughlin said the group had been inspired to do the walk by news of operations in Afghanistan.

He said: “We’ve all got friends who are still in the forces. Some of them are going through rehabilitation. Some of them have lost arms and legs or are scarred for life. We are just trying to look after our boys.”

The team hopes to raise £30,000 over the course of the seven day trek, which will start on St David’s Day.

Anybody who would like to donate should go to www.milancivdivwalk.webs. com.