Gainsborough: Ex-army man trekked from Darley Dale to Gainsborough for charity Unload

Mark Robinson with his mum, Sally
Mark Robinson with his mum, Sally

An ex-soldier from Gainsborough who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when he left the Army has taken part in a walking challenge to raise cash for a charity which supported him.

Mark Robinson set himself a challenge of walking 50 miles from his current home in Darley Dale, Derbyshire, all the way to his mother’s home in Gainsborough within 24 hours to help raise funds for Unload, a charity which provides support post trauma, specialising in the armed forces family.

Mark joined the Army when he was 16-years-old and after he returned went down a path of alcohol and drugs to help him deal with his PTSD.

Mark’s wife, Dannii, said: “As the years went on, Mark hid his ‘wounds from war’ by living a life full of alcohol and drugs, leading him to take a path which allowed him to bury his thoughts and his feelings.”

“This is a perfect example which shows how the events we witness in life can shape our thoughts and lead to actions which cover up emotions. This not only affects the individual, but significantly affects their families and the people closest to them.”

It was after Mark moved to Derbyshire that he found out about Unload.

Dannii said: “Since discovering Unload Mark has turned a corner and is on his way to being completely free of all medication.”

“He is in the final stages of his detox and although there have been a few lapses; his aim is to help others who can relate to him, and show them that it can be possible to change your life, not just for those around you but for yourself, with the right support.”

“Mark attended his first workshop in March, where he met many others who have been though similar situations.”

“The workshop taught people to listen to each other, to tune into their own energies and to control their way of thinking.”

“It gave support and guidance and allowed people to speak freely, and share their own unique stories, without any judgement or negativity surrounding them.”

“Mark’s aim is to be one of the instructors so that he can pass on his knowledge and help others to regain control of their own lives, and also to prove that by making certain changes in life, anything can be done.”

To give back to Unload and to thank them for all the support they have given them Mark decided to raise money for Unload by walking, on his own, from his home in Darley Dale to his mother’s address in North Warren Road, Gainsborough.

Mark set off on his journey at 6pm on Friday 29th May and he walked through the night reaching Creswell Crags in the early hours of Saturday morning and unfortunately due to problems with his knees Mark was forced to stop with only a few miles to go.

Founder of Unload, Mike Payne, said: “He did really well but his knee gave out seven miles out. He actually could not physically have walked more and we might have prompted him to stop to protect the knee, but he made the decision to stop on his own which was wise.”

“With the fatigue and desire to finish that was a difficult to make and shows emotional maturity.”

To support Mark and make a donation visit www.unload.org.uk/mark-robinsons-50-mile-walk-page and for more information about Unload visit www.unload.org.uk.