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War veteran and double amputee set to walk 72-mile for Norfolk charities

PUBLISHED: 10:39 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:39 03 July 2020

Amputee Duncan Slater. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Amputee Duncan Slater. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A Norfolk war veteran and double amputee is set to take part in a 72-mile walking challenge in a bid to raise money for cancer charities.

Duncan Slater who was injured in Afghanistan whilst serving with the Armed Forces. Picture: Duncan SlaterDuncan Slater who was injured in Afghanistan whilst serving with the Armed Forces. Picture: Duncan Slater

The Afghanistan war veteran and first double amputee to ski to the South Pole, Duncan Slater, from South Norfolk, has set himself the challenge to walk from Diss to Norwich, along with the outgoing president of the Rotary Club of Diss and District, Phil Catchpole.

Mr Slater feared he may never be able walk again after being struck by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Babaji, Helmand province, Afghanistan in July 2009.

But today he is a Walking with the Wounded ambassador, having completed gruelling challenges all over the world – including the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert.

Now taking on a challenge closer to home, Mr Slater and Mr Catchpole will begin the walk at Diss market place on Saturday, July 4, taking the Boudicca route, which runs from the town to Norwich.

Soon-to-be standing down president of the Rotary of Rotary Club of Diss and District, Phil Catchpole and past president Alison Bannister. Picture: Rotary Club of Diss & DistrictSoon-to-be standing down president of the Rotary of Rotary Club of Diss and District, Phil Catchpole and past president Alison Bannister. Picture: Rotary Club of Diss & District

Mr Catchpole, who is an experienced long-distance walker, came up with the idea to support the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Boudica Cancer Appeal and UEA Prostate ‘Tiger Test’ cancer research.

And so far they have raised more than £2,500.

He said: “I like both these charities because early diagnosis leads to better outcomes and most of us have been touched by these illnesses one way or another.

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“The Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal provides a dedicated breast cancer unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, whilst the UEA ‘Tiger Testing’ research project helps to identify the most aggressive prostate cancers.

“They enable earlier diagnosis and lead to better outcomes for so many local people.”

The soon-to-be stepping down Rotary president hopes to complete the 72 walk, from Diss to Norwich railway station and back again, in under 26 hours.

Also on the Saturday morning, in a socially distanced ceremony at the market place, before the walk commences, Mr Catchpole will officially hand over his title of Rotary president to Graham Wuidart.

Donations can be made via the Just Giving website, here.


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