Pride of Britain 2021: Triple amputee Mark Ormrod's phenomenal fundraising efforts

  • Watch Jacquie Bird's report

A fundraising appeal which aimed to raise just £1,000 with a sponsored beard shave has turned into a near £500,000 challenge.

Former Royal Marine Mark Ormrod - who was the first triple amputee to survive the conflict in Afghanistan - has been nominated for the Regional Fundraiser of the year in this year's Pride of Britain Awards.

Mark, from Plymouth, is trustee of a charity called Reorg, which supports veterans, serving military and the emergency services using Brazilian Ju Jitsu.

Earlier this year, he decided to try to raise some funds for the charity with a sponsored beard shave. When he beat his target of £1,000 within hours, he upped the challenge.

Mark Ormrod running on prosthetic blades during training.

A 5k run was planned and when a video of Mark falling while he was training on his running prosthetics went viral it had an amazing affect on the fundraising.

The run went well, so along with his coach - personal trainer Ben Wadham, who is also a former Royal Marine - they planned their next challenge. This time a sea swim from Drake's Island back to Devil's Point in Plymouth.

Mark Ormrod Credit: Jacquie Bird

The swim took the fundraising to more than £450,000. So next, they're planning a bike ride, through the night, from Ilfracombe in North Devon to Plymouth.

Mark said: It's just a message I try and push out to everybody, no matter what you're going through, if it's trauma, challenge, difficulty, or if you just want to take your life to another level, get around good people, people that are going to support you and empower you to take your life to the next level."

And that is what the charity Reorg aims to do. Supporting people who may have been through trauma and difficulty and bring them close to those who can see them through it.

The way that Mark leads his life, despite what has happened to him, is an inspiration to many.

Jamie Portt is one of his many supporters, and said: "You see Mark when he's training, when he's on that swim, there's nothing fazing him. And that's the perfect example of a role model that people need."

Mark is one of four finalists for ITV West Country West's Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the year. The winner will be announced on Friday.