Charity adventure for Girvan veteran

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GREAT things lie out east for a Girvan woman on a charity mission as she prepares to walk one of the seven wonders of the world.

Helen Bolland, 32, of Pine Quadrant, will next month take on the Great Wall of China to raise money for military charity Help for Heroes.

And while she said she feels overwhelmed at the prospect of her Asian adventure, having always wanted to experience the Great Wall for herself, Helen’s trek-tenacity is born of some pretty traumatic circumstances.

Having been medically discharged from the RAF in 2008, before which she had spent seven years serving with 14 Signal Regiment EW - including five months in Iraq - Helen had had difficulty readjusting to everyday civilian life.

She struggled to leave her home, and said even going shopping, attending doctors’ appointments and socialising had been difficult.

But having sought help from various Forces’ charities since leaving her military days behind her, Helen said her China trek is an opportunity to pay them back.

With sponsorship from The Band of Brothers - a group of ex-servicemen and women intent on supporting those injured in the line of duty - Helen is under no pressure to fundraise, but says she wants to repay her “tuppence worth”.

“I wanted to put a bit back into the pot because unfortunately this charity has not seen the back of me yet,” she said.

“While there is no pressure on me to raise a minimum amount of money, it would be nice to raise something.

“To do something like this is going from one extreme to the next, but it will really stretch my comfort bubble. It’s huge and really overwhelming.”

In a bid to attract her £500 fundraising target Helen has placed eye-catching adverts, featuring her beloved dog Jack, in various Girvan shop windows.

To donate to her Great Wall escapade visit Helen’s fundraising page and help set Helen up with a total to match her “unforgettable experience”.

Helen would also be happy to hear from any groups or schools willing to host an event in aid of her Chinese charity trip. If you think you can help, email helenbolland@hotmail.co.uk.