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Charity cash stolen from army veteran on scooter

Mark Newton of Swansea travelling the country on his mobility scooter. Credit: ITV News

An Army veteran from Swansea has spoken of his shock after he travelled 7,300 miles around Britain before thieves stole his charity cash collection.

Mark Newton set off on his challenge from his home town on April 7 last year.

But on Monday the 48-year-old had money stolen from his collection bucket near a Tesco supermarket in Portsmouth city centre, Hampshire.

He told the Portsmouth News: "It's the first time it's happened and I've been through some real dodgy spots. I'm still carrying on."

Mr Newton has about 4,000 miles to complete his challenge, which he is doing using a specially-adapted scooter that tows a small caravan he uses to sleep in and to house his two cats, Smudge and Missy.

He has so far collected almost £27,000 for military charity SSAFA, the RNLI, Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes, and his regiment, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards.

A Hampshire police spokesman said about £30 is believed to have been stolen and Tesco was reviewing its CCTV footage.

John Hicks, who donated on Mr Newton's fundraising page, said: "Hello, heard that some of your cash was stolen from Portsmouth. As a local of the city I feel compelled to help you out. Best of luck with the rest of your journey."



British Army launch recruitment campaign in Wales

The British Army has today launched a new recruitment campaign in Wales to address to highlight the hundreds of different roles and thousands of jobs available now in the Regular Army and Army Reserve.

Recruitment events will be held across Wales for people to meet serving troops. The Army already has an established presence in Wales including the 160 (Wales) Brigade based in Brecon, as well as some of the Army's top training sites such as the Infantry Battle School and Sennybridge Training Area.

Some of new roles available now include; bricklayers, communication specialists, veterinary technicians and infantry soldiers.

Army Reserve recruit in Cardiff

Members of the public had the chance to speak to soldiers and get a real understanding of Army life at a recruitment event held at Cardiff Castle. Cardiff's Army Reserve units showcased a variety of the latest kit and equipment used by the military.

The event was designed to help boost the Army's nationwide recruitment drive. There are over 6,000 jobs on offer across several hundred different roles in the Army Reserve, from mechanics, to veterinary technicians and fitness instructors.

Brigadier Andrew Jackson, the Director of Army Recruiting and Training said, "Joining the Army Reserve is an exciting opportunity for anyone looking to do something extra with their time and benefit from a rewarding experience outside of normal working hours.

"No matter what your skills or background, the Army Reserve has something to offer you. There is much more beyond military skill; it can take you abroad, equip you with new skills, give you invaluable experience and develop strengths you didn't know you had."

The Army Reserve typically train for one night per week and often at weekends plus, in many cases, attend an annual two week training exercise. The minimum commitment is generally 27 days training per annum, though it is 19 days for some specialist units.

Former soldier criticises provision of prosthetic limbs in Wales

A former soldier who lost his leg in Afghanistan has hit out at the Welsh Government, saying he was forced to move to England to get an acceptable level of care.

ITV News first featured Pete Bowker's story back in February, when he had waited six months for a prosthetic limb.

In the end, he moved from Connah's Quay across the border to Chester, and after an appointment in an English facility was given his new limb immediately.

The money has now been made available in Wales, and Pete says he hopes no one else has to move countries to get the care they need.

Ian Lang reports.

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