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Ex-Royal Marine in record bid to scale the world's biggest islands

A former Royal Marine is aiming to inspire others by crossing the world's five largest islands in a mammoth year-long challenge.

Louis Nethercott, who is from Wiltshire but now lives in Bristol, will trek the desert, jungle and mountains as he attempts to set a world record with fellow ex-Marine Anthony Lambert.

Louis Nethercott is attempting to cross the five biggest islands in the world Credit: Help for Heroes

The pair will endeavour to become the first people in history to trek through Borneo, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Greenland and Baffin Island using just their survival skills.

Mr Nethercott was medically discharged from the military earlier this year after a decade during which he served across the world including deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.

The 27-year-old said his life changed "dramatically" after that tour, leading him to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

I saw some pretty bad stuff, some hairy situations. On coming home from that particular tour, things didn't quite add up for me. Something had changed, and changed dramatically.

It was a different world when I came back.

– Louis Nethercott
Louis was a mental health ambassador for the Invictus Games in Orlando Credit: Help for Heroes

Louis, who was a mental health ambassador for the Invictus Games in Orlando earlier this year, said he is taking on the 'Expedition Five challenge' to satisfy his thirst for adventure and raise awareness of how PTSD can affect members of the military.

It is so important to me to inspire other guys who have battled similar problems to me. I want to show everybody that despite experiencing a setback, life is not over if you don't want it to be. It is about looking the dark days in the eye and saying you've come out the other end stronger.

– Louis Nethercott

Louis says he is looking forward to the challenge, which is being supported by military charity Help for Heroes, who given the pair a £10,000 grant to fund the expedition.


Gig built by wounded veterans is handed over for World Championships

Credit: ITV West Country

A gig built by wounded veterans for the Help for Heroes charity has been handed over.

A crew from the charity will race the boat named Valiant, in the World Gig Championships on the Isles of Scilly this weekend.

The gig set off from Tresco and was welcomed on the main island of St Mary's, accompanied by other gigs.

The project as seen wounded, injured and sick armed forces personnel building the Cornish pilot gig. Credit: ITV West Country

Help for Heroes speak out against fraudster

Help for Heroes say the public have been shocked by the case of Christopher Copeland from Devon, who has been jailed for stealing £300,000 through fake charity collections.

Copeland deceived the public into thinking they were making donations which would help our wounded. Instead he was stealing from them and using the money for his own personal gain through a deceptive web of fraud which took detectives three years to untangle. We have been astonished by the response of the public. Many of those defrauded by him have contacted us to express shock that someone would use organised and criminal tactics to prevent money supporting the wounded.

– Jo Brookes, Income Protection Officer at Help for Heroes
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