Half marathon man

A FORMER soldier is taking on the Reading Half Marathon to raise money for injured servicemen and ex-servicemen.

James Tattingham (23) will be running in the half marathon on Sunday, March 20, to raise money for BLESMA (British Limbless Ex Service Men’s Association).

BLESMA is the national charity for limbless serving and ex-service men and women and their dependants and widows.

James served in the Parachute Regiment for four years and served on an operational tour in Afghanistan in the summer of 2008.

He said: “I have witnessed the effects of war and the way it affects people’s lives. I have friends who have died and also lost limbs serving on tour, which has been tragic for the soldiers and their families.

“My fellow paras are currently serving in Afghanistan, doing their part for our country while we sleep safe at night. So I feel I should do my part here in the UK and show how much I appreciate everything they’re doing for us and the risks they are taking by giving something back to them.”

BLESMA is about amputee helping amputee - the fellowship of shared experience, giving support and being there when old injuries come back to haunt.

James added: “I have seen a friend have both his legs and arm blown off. Because of this charity, I saw him just two months after the tour actually walking.

“It is thanks to charities such as BLESMA that people can go on to lead perfectly normal lives. It is outstanding.”

You can sponsor James at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JamesTattingham