A proud dad is hitting the open road to help injured heroes.
Robin Brown (59) was determined to do his bit after son Gavin joined the Army.
Next weekend, he is heading off in his Mazda MX-5 to visit 25 military barracks across the UK.
He hopes to raise £20,000 for Help for Heroes which would cover the cost of one prosthetic arm and leg for a member of the British Armed Forces.
Robin is hoping he will be easy to spot on the highways – despite his trusty 18-year-old soft top sporting camouflage colours.
His vehicle is receiving a full safety and mechanical check free of charge from SDM Mazda at Middlefield. The dealership is also sponsoring the fuel costs and will sell Help for Heroes merchandise.
Robin, of Camelon, said: “When my son was joining 2 Scots in 2010, we went along to the Army recruiting office in Stirling. I saw they were selling Help for Heroes armbands and, as I didn’t know much about the charity, looked up its website. Just like the Royal British Legion has done for years, I realised that it has dedicated itself to providing an enormous amount of care at places like Tedworth House.
“Something just got to me. Here was my son signing up and doing his bit. I wanted to show him how much I respect what he is doing and do my bit to help those people who unfortunately, don’t come home in the same condition that they go to places like Afghanistan.”
Robin and his wife Jennifer, a teacher at Victoria Primary School, both own Mazda MX-5s and he decided to make a 2000 mile journey round military bases to raise cash for the charity, which was set up in 2007 to provide support to those wounded in service of their country since 9/11.
He added: “My aim is not only to raise money but also raise awareness in the hope that people will continue to support the heroes and donate money to such a great cause.”
After getting in touch with Brian Aitken of SDM Mazda to ask for support, he was delighted at the gesture by the dealership. He said: “I’d previously been a member of Falkirk Round Table and dealt with him when he helped us with the Santa float. I knew he was a very conscientious man and I can’t thank him enough for what he is doing.”
Scott Macdonald, dealer principal of SDM Mazda, said: “We feel privileged to help raise money for such a great charity. The entire dealership is behind Robin and wishes him the best of luck with his challenge.”
A data manager with Equifax in Cumbernauld, Robin’s bosses have promised to double the cash he collects.
He said: “It’s a great gesture and this week we held a Help for Heroes day in the office which raised £800.”
His first stop on April 14 will be Fort George barracks near Inverness before signing in at the other Scottish bases that weekend, including Glencorse where his son Gavin (23), now a lance corporal, is based.
On April 16 he will head south to visit around 20 military HQs before ending his charity challenge at Catterick Army camp in North Yorkshire. He will then drive home for a well deserved rest.
However, his unusual vehicle will not be hidden away. Robin said: “To my mind there is no better sportscar in the world and so I plan to continue using the camouflaged MX-5 for further charity work in order to keep donations coming in.”
Donations can be made by visiting his fundraising website at www.bmycharity.com/RobinBrown.