A NEW charity has been launched to raise money for ex-military personnel.
Web designer Andrew Charlton came up with the idea for the charity after teaming up with photographer Paul Stephenson for a fundraising walk along the First World War’s Western Front.
The pair’s route took in several battlefields fought on by soldiers from the Tyneside Scottish Regiment.
Andrew’s great grandfather served in the Tyneside Scottish during the First World War and survived both the Battle of the Somme and the British offensive at Arras in 1917.
His great uncle was one of the regiment’s founders and later became its honorary colonel.
Paul, of Bedlington, volunteered to help Andrew, of Broomhill, near Amble, by shooting a documentary film about the walk, soon be made available to schools across the region.
His great uncle Harry also served in the Tyneside Scottish Regiment but never returned from the 1914-18 war.
The pair have now founded a charity called Walking the Front to provide support to veterans and their dependants in the area originally served by the regiment – Northumberland, Durham, Tyneside and Scotland.
Andrew said: “Our aims are very simple – to provide micro-grants and micro-loans to qualifying ex-servicemen and women that can change a life.
“We don’t want to limit the type of help we give and plan to invite applications for support very soon.”
A launch event was held this month featuring the first screening of Paul’s documentary.
For details, visit www.walkingthefront.com.