Blackpool-born ex-soldier Jordan takes on paddle boat challenge to fund new school in Somalia

A Blackpool-born former soldier is braving the waves around the coast of Britain in the hope of smashing a new world record attempt - all while raising money for charity.

By Wes Holmes
Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 3:59 pm
Jordan, right, at sea

Jordan Wylie, 36, set off from Falmouth near Cornwall on a small paddle boat on Sunday.

He aims to become the first person ever to successfully paddle around the coast of the UK.

His dad David said: "The waves are rough and he's up against the elements.

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Jordan Wylie on his paddle boat

"Jordan only started paddle boating six months ago as a hobby and when his plans this year were cancelled because of the coronavirus he decided to do this instead, and for two or three weeks he had some rather intense training."

Jordan's difficult journey will raise money for Frontline Children, a charity which provides education to children in war-torn places.

As an ambassador for the charity, Jordan, who grew up in Grange Park and now lives in Andover in Hampshire, has already raised £150,000 towards building a new school in Somalia by taking part in physical challenges including marathon runs through Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2020, he hoped to complete runs in Siberia, Alaska, Iceland, Greenland, the Falklands, the Yukon, and Svalbard - but was only able to complete three of these before the coronavirus lockdown forced him to change his plans.

He now hopes to raise at least £100,000 more to complete the new school.

David said: "Jordan was in the armed forces for many years. He served 10 years and while in Iraq he noticed the plight of the children. It really brought it home to him and that's why he started raising money for the children. He wants to make life better for kids all around the world.

"He's a great believer in education as a great leveller. To help these children, they need education to give them confidence.

"When he ran through Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia last year that did give us cause to worry, but he did it all to fund-raise. Then he rowed across the dangerous Bab al-Mandab Strait in Africa. Although it does scare us when he does these things, I know that nothing is going to change his mind. But then again, we are extremely proud."

Jordan hopes to paddle around 20km each day, completing his journey in late November.

People can keep up with his world record attempt and donate to Frontline Children on his website, www.jordanwylie.org.