A SOLDIER from Worcester is part of a team taking part in a gruelling running challenge for charity.

Corporal Max Batchelor, who is currently serving in No.8 Training Battalion, The Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), is joining a team of 19 more servicemen running 529 in 12 hours while carrying 15kg weights.

The runners are taking on the challenge to raise money for Combat Stress, the UK's leading mental health charity for veterans.

The 29 year-old former Nunnery Wood pupil has been in the Army for nine years, including seeing service in Iraq.

His unit, Helmand Company, is named after the province in Afghanistan where British soldiers were heavily engaged during the fight against the Taliban.

The run will be taking place on April 28 – marking 15 years since the beginning of UK operations in Helmand, and is taking place at MOD Lyneham runway, where 426 fallen soldiers were repatriated.

The Helmand Company fundraising page says: "We are raising money for Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health.

"For over a century, they’ve helped former servicemen and women deal with trauma-related mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

"They’re on a mission to raise awareness that invisible injuries can be just as hard to cope with as physical ones.

"So when a veteran is having a tough time, they’re there to help them tackle the past and take on the future."

Cpl Batchelor has run three Worcester half marathons in the past carrying weights: twice for the National Deaf Children's Society,carrying 45 pounds in weight - 1lb for every 1,000 deaf children in the UK supported by the charity.

Last year, he ran the half marathon wearing full military body armour in recognition of the 71 British soldiers who took their lives the year before he went to Iraq, raising money for the REME charity and Help for Heroes.

Cpl Batchelor joined REME nine years ago as a vehicle mechanic and qualified as a physical trainer (PTI) three years ago.

As a PTI, he regularly arranges fitness challenges for his battalion, and while serving in Iraq ran an international fitness challenge at the bases he was posted to.

For more information about the Helmand Company 529 miles for the fallen challenge, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/helmand529