1. ITV Report

Ex-soldier to take on charity cycle across 13 countries to raise money for Help for Heroes

Hendrik Van Der Mescht suffered from post traumatic disorder on his return from the conflict. Credit: WheelPower

An ex-soldier who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder has began raising money and awareness for the illness, with a planned charity bike ride from Buckhingham Palace to Cape Town.

Hendrik Van Der Mescht, who was a soldier in the Coldstream Guards from 2003 and 2008, will cycle 15,000 miles across 13 countries next summer.

All of the donations on his WheelPower website will go to Help for Heroes and support ex-servicemen and women who have suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.

Hendrik Van Der Mescht served in Iraq as part of Operation Telic. Credit: WheelPower

Van Der Mescht, who served in Iraq as part of Operation Telic, said cycling became key to his recovery of dealing with the symptoms and challenges of the illness.

During my illness I started cycling to help me forget about my difficulties and the problems associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Cycling helped me both mentally and physically. I started to lose a lot of weight and also to regain my confidence. When I had bad depression I would taking my bike and cycle long distances. It proved very therapeutic and helped me overcome the symptoms of PTSD.

– Hendrik Van Der Mescht