A local war veteran is preparing to take on a gruelling cycling challenge in aid of a worthy cause which is close to his heart.
Rathcoole man, Bryan Phillips, will be riding a hand bike for over 350 miles to raise funds for the Irish Guards Benevolent Fund.
The former soldier will be taking part in the charity effort, which will see him start at Mizen Head, Co Cork, before travelling to Malin Head, Co Donegal. He will be taking part in the challenge from February 19 until February 24.
Bryan joined the British Army in 2005, before going on tours in Iraq (2007) and Afghanistan (2010 and 2012). On his last tour of Afghanistan he stood on am improvised explosive device (IED) and lost both of his legs above the knee. He now also suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Speaking to the Times, Bryan said: “The Irish Guards Benevolent Fund have helped me throughout my rehabilitation from providing financial support to all-round support. They are always checking in with me to make sure I’m okay or asking if I need anything.”
The kind hearted east Antrim man is no stranger to charity fundraising, having completed a number of charitable efforts in recent years.
He added: “I like to raise money for all sorts of charities and usually do one big event each year. I’ve cycled in the ‘Lap the Lough’ event two years running. This involved me riding 85 miles on a hand cycle, with the money I raised going to the children’s cancer fund. I have also absailed down the Europa Hotel in Belfast for charity too, as well as collecting donations during a number other things. I do these to help others, as people came to offer their support from all over the country in my hour of darkness so. I really enjoy helping local charities.”
Bryan has set up an online fundraising page to collect donations, with all monies raised going to the Irish Guards Benevolent Fund. If you would like to make a donation, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Bryan-Phillips4