A FORMER member of an elite fighting force is preparing to virtually tackle a muscle-aching mountain climb in aid of a charity which supported his loved one.

Jon Driscoll, 30, is an ex-Royal Marines Commando who served in the likes of Afghanistan before calling it a day in 2017.

Since leaving the amphibious light infantry, Mr Driscoll has worked as a construction site manager.

Despite the many unthinkable challenges, he has already faced and conquered throughout his career, the keen hill climber is clearly not one to rest on his laurels.

In less than two months, the father-of-one will undertake a gruelling 24 hour test of his emotional and physical ability for charity.

The ambitious fundraiser will see him virtually climb Mouth Everest, which, in reality, sits at 8,848 metres high.

Although he will not have to endure the life-threateningly thin air, snowy terrain and brutal weather, he will have to complete 58,000 steps on a stair master machine at GymFit, in Clacton.

“If you have ever been on a stair master, it is a very arduous challenge,” he said.

“So, it is going to be challenging, but I am going to the gym every night and on the weekends and doing 5,000 steps a night and 30km bike rides.

“It is not easy, because your legs do not recovery.

“The hardest possible thing to do is Everest and it is the pinnacle, but it costs thousands to actually do it.

“So, I thought what better way to prepare for it, in long in the run, than to do it in the mean time charity.”

Mr Driscoll, of Ladbrooke Road, Clacton, says he will need to draw on his experience as a commando to get through the testing step-a-thon.

“I think the main thing I learnt in the Marines is that never give up attitude and to keep going no matter how hard it gets,” he added,

“You have to remember why you are doing it as well and that everyone is rooting for you, and I want to do everyone proud.”

Mr Driscoll has decided to use the challenge, happening on November 9, as a platform from which to generate vital funding for the St Luke’s Hospice charity.

The organisation provides support to those living with life-limiting conditions and people who are nearing the end of their lives, as well as guidance to family members.

He was inspired to do his bit to help the hospice after witnessing first-hand the level of care they gave to his former partner’s mum, Rhonda Miles.

He added: “The whole ordeal was horrible but for the short period she was there, they brought such comfort to the family and their special lady.

“It was a horrible thing to happen but it was refreshing how hands-on the carers were and they were just so lovely and showed such professionalism.

“So, that is why I am using this challenge to hopefully raise some money for St Luke’s Hospice.

“They are all heroes and deserve the world.”

To sponsor Jon, who is hoping to raise at least £1,200 for charity, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/jon-driscoll1.