Doncaster war hero set to lead the way at walking festival launch event

Ben Parkinson MBE on a previous fundraising challenge.
Ben Parkinson MBE on a previous fundraising challenge.

Wounded war hero Ben Parkinson MBE will lead the ‘Get Doncaster Walking Festival’ to celebrate its 10th year.

The walk, a 1.7 mile route starting at 10.30am on Saturday, January 16, at the Keepmoat Stadium, will follow the perimeter of the lake.

It will be part of a full programme of entertainment in partnership with Club Doncaster, Doncaster Rovers and Doncaster Knights Rugby Club, and Ben’s Pilgrim Bandits charity, with reduced-price tickets to Doncaster Rovers home game in the afternoon for anyone who takes part.

Leading the walk will be a milestone in the 31-year-old former paratrooper’s continued rehabilitation.

The Bessacarr man was nearly killed while serving in the British Army in Afghanistan in 2006 when a Taliban bomb blew up a Land Rover he was travelling in.

He lost both legs and suffered injuries including brain damage, and has been described as the UK’s most severely injured soldier to survive his wounds.

Ben has continually defied the odds to complete a number of charity challenges and has recently undergone oxygen therapy to help him recover his speech.

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones, who will be joining Ben on the walk, said: “The Get Doncaster Walking programme is an excellent scheme that helps to encourage more healthy and active lifestyles, and what a powerful way to celebrate its 10 years than for Ben Parkinson, a local hero and source of inspiration for so many of us, to lead the first walk.”

For more information about the Get Doncaster Walking Festival and available routes visit Doncaster Council’s website at