A MAN who struggles to walk because of a painful blood disease is about to trek 1,000 miles across the country.

With just a backpack and tent, Colin Collett will walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise cash for charity.

Colin, 45, of Southend Road, Wickford, estimates the adventure from Cornwall to Scotland will take him three months to complete and he hopes to raise hundreds of pounds for St Luke’s Hospice, in Basildon.

Unemployed Colin will start the journey on June 5. He is funding the trip himself through his benefits and will bed down in people’s gardens and on roadsides along the way.

Colin was inspired to start charity walking after watching Army hero Major Phil Packer finish the London Marathon in 2009. He lost the use of his legs in an Iraq rocket attack.

Colin said: “I was watching TV feeling a bit sorry for myself and I saw Maj Packer on the TV as he crossed the finish line, two weeks after starting.

“It made me feel about an inch tall. He’s far worse off than me, but he didn’t let it stop him. After that I decided to do something myself. I walked from Basildon to Scotland and then to Wales. I even climbed Ben Nevis and Mount Snowdon.”

Colin, who is single, first became ill when he suffered a fall while working on a building site.

It left him with pains in his back, but a short while later he was also diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease, a blood condition which constricts blood flow to the legs.

He added: “It hurts me a lot to walk, but I can walk, so I don’t want to sit around at home cooped up in four walls. If I can raise money for charity and help others by getting off my backside, then I want to do that.

“I chose to support the hospice because it’s a wonderful facility and I’ve had family members who’ve needed hospice care.”

l You can support Colin by visiting justgiving.com/colincollett