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Twenty-eight-year-old David Hayward, from Leicestershire, is getting in training for a gruelling 250-mile solo trek across Iceland – to help disabled and terminally ill children in the Midlands.

David, from Broughton Astley, is a senior assistant at the Midlands Co-operative convenience store in nearby Cosby. His walking challenge will benefit Midlands Co-operative’s staff-elected charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.

Since the partnership was launched in May 2012, Midlands Co-operative colleagues and customers have raised in excess of £300,000 for Newlife Foundation. This has funded specialist disability equipment – like wheelchairs, walkers, communication aids and car seats – for 151 children in the retailer’s trading area, including 24 in Leicestershire.

David, who has worked for Midlands Co-operative for six years, said: “I have been a keen walker for the past couple of years, tackling solo walks across the Scottish Highlands and the Swedish Arctic, where bears are a very real danger. I decided I would like to help Midlands Co-operative support local disabled children and thought a long-distance sponsored walk would be a good way for me to do this. I chose Iceland because of its varied landscape!”

He added: “It is not a particularly well-trodden route so I will be very much on my own. The terrain is predominantly volcanic desert, punctuated with glacially-fed rivers, hot springs, waterfalls and volcanoes so the scenery will be spectacular.”

Due to the extreme weather conditions, David will be tackling the trek during July 2014, and expects to take 21 days to complete the route, carrying everything he needs for the expedition – including camping gear and all his food.

Midlands Co-operative Cosby store manager Sarah Roberts said: “As a regional retailer we always ensure that our staff-elected charity supports people in need in our trading area. We are all very proud of David – and slightly in awe of the challenge he intends to undertake. His route will take him across a desolate and unforgiving landscape and he will be doing it all on his own. He definitely needs our support.”

If you would like to sponsor David, you can go to his JustGiving page – – or visit the Croft Road store in Cosby where sponsorship forms are available.

Pictured: David Hayward prepares for his challenge.

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