1. ITV Report

Injured paratrooper sets off on charity desert expedition

Private Patrick Burns lost his leg after stepping on a roadside bomb Photo: Adam McClean

An injured paratrooper from Poulton on the Fylde coast has set off on an expedition to raise money for a charity that helps servicemen and their families.

Private Patrick Burns, 25, lost his leg after stepping on a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province.

He will be spending a fortnight in North Africa with three colleagues from the Parachute Regiment who have also been seriously injured in service. They left for Morocco from their battalion's headquarters in Colchester early this morning.

The soldiers will undergo a series of challenges in the Sahara desert, including treks, navigation tasks and a march to the end of the trip.

Pte Burns said: "The rehabilitation process has been a real challenge but I hope Mission Morocco will give me the opportunity to prove how far I have come and that my injuries will not prevent me from taking part in the challenges."

After standing on the improvised explosive device Pte Burns was airlifted to Camp Bastion for emergency treatment, where his leg was amputated below the knee.

The expedition will raise money for the Afghanistan Trust, which gives assistance to soldiers of The Parachute Regiment who are wounded in action, or the families of those killed in Afghanistan.

Colin Smith MBE, CEO of the Afghanistan Trust, commented: "The trek will see some of The Parachute Regiment's most talented and dedicated servicemen take on the Moroccan desert to help raise funds that will directly benefit their colleagues.

"Despite suffering injuries themselves, these men's courage and selfless determination to help others in need and their families is inspiring."

You can make a donation to the charity and find out more about Mission Morocco 2012 by visiting the team's JustGiving page.