It was nothing but an idea in January, now Sgt Rick Clement’s charity A Soldier’s Journey is well on its way to hitting its £100,000 target.
While serving in Afghanistan in 2010, the soldier was severely injured after stepping on an IED. The blast resulted in the loss of both his legs as well as massive internal injuries.
Since his recovery, Sgt Clement has been inspired to create a charity as a way of saying thank you to all the charities which helped him and his family, and to ensure that help is available to all injured troops.
His aim has always been £100,000, but now as his next charity event in January is expected to top his target, he has promised to continue fundraising.
He told The Gazette: “I never thought we’d be hitting the target so quickly. I was quite willing for it to take five or 10 years.
“It’s given me the incentive to go out there and keep fund-raising.
“I am proud of what we’ve already achieved. It’s been quite overwhelming at times.”
Sgt Clement said his national profile has also helped increase awareness of his charity and help secure big names and venues for fund-raising events.
More recently, his involvement in the funeral of veteran Harold Jellicoe Percival saw him and A Soldier’s Journey featured in the national press.
The most recent event was a charity dinner and auction at Blackpool Football Club, which raised an astonishing £55,000.
Auctioned items included a football shirt signed by David Beckham, a pair of earrings from event sponsor Banks Lyon jewellers in Lancaster and a motorbike from CCM Motorbikes.
“It’s absolutely amazing to have raised that much money – it way beyond my estimation.
“It backs up everything I’ve said recently about the British public and its support for the armed forces. Everyone seems to be chipping in no matter what walk of life they are from. It’s a huge step up for our charity,” Sgt Clement said.
He added each charity event held over the last 12 months has been bigger and better than the last.
“It shows how big the charity has become,” he said.
A Soldiers Journey Charity Boxing Night will take place at The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool, on January 11.