A BOY from Malvern is doing his bit to help a veterans’ charity, despite a major event for the charity being called off.

11 year-old Ryan Seyler set up his own 30-day challenge as part of Help for Heroes’ Step 2 It campaign, doing 5,000 steps every day to raise funds for wounded veterans.

His mum Emily says, “Ryan needs to undertake gentle exercise every day as part of his physiotherapy during his treatment, so we’re delighted that he can do something positive by fundraising for a charity he adores this summer.”

Ryan was diagnosed with hemiplegia, a form of cerebral palsy at two years old, as well as coeliac disease.

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In spite of this, he got involved in the annual Malvern Hills Challenge with his Beaver pack and is supporting Help for Heroes in honour of his dad Mark, who served in the Royal Artillery from 1986 to 1991.

Several of his mum Emily’s family have also served in the US Military, but the annual walking event on the Malvern Hills brought the family to the charity.

Emily said: “We’ve talked to him a lot about the men and women who are supported by Help for Heroes and for him it’s the realisation that there are people out there who have their own injuries, whether hidden or visible, who have served our country, and the he can do his bit, and help them.

“It gives him a huge sense of satisfaction, realising what he can do, and what he is capable of, rather than focusing on limitations.

“He’d love to go into cyber security, and hopefully by the time he’s old enough, conditions like his won’t be seen as a barrier to a career in the armed forces. He’s always been very focused on what he can achieve, rather than what he can’t.”

Over the years Ryan has raised almost £500 for Help for Heroes and Ryan and Emily joined former soldier Tony Potter and some of the other Malvern-based Help for Heroes supporters for a socially distanced fundraising finale on Sunday 30th August.

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Mr Potter, 59, from Strensham, near Pershore, spoke about his connection with Help for Heroes and how he’s adapted his fundraising efforts in lockdown and beyond.

He said: “I served with the Royal Signals (reserves) for 17 years, joining up as a signaller at HQ Wales in Brecon in June 1985 finishing as a Captain and 2IC of 56 Signal Squadron in 2002.

“I was lucky to have taken part in exercises across Europe, Belize and Canada.

“Importantly, four of my brothers, my sister and her husband also served in the Army and RAF so between us we have accumulated over 120 years of service."

Ryan raised over £260 in his summer challenge for Help for Heroes, which people can still donate to at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ryanrunsmalvern

To follow developments about the Malvern Hills Challenge go to: https://www.malvernhillschallenge.org/