A WAR veteran who was shot and paralysed has shared his inspirational story with students at Bridgwater & Taunton College.

Year 1 A level students heard how last year Lance Corporal Mark Harding completed a walk of nearly 1,000 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End on crutches to raise vital funds for bereaved military children’s charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers.

Mark, who is the first disabled person to walk the entire length of the UK, raised  £36,037.05 during the 85-day walk.

While serving in Afghanistan in 2010, Mark was shot through the neck, which shattered his C5 and C6 spinal segments.

He was left completely paralysed from the neck down.

He was told he would never walk again, but he overcame everyone's expectations and started to regain some movement.

His Majesty the King recognised Mark for his efforts. Speaking about how this felt, Mark said: “The recognition I’ve received is amazing, especially from the King. It blows me away to think I wrote a letter to the King and Queen, and they actually took the time to read it and respond.

"I think it really just highlights how important the cause is that even the Royal family 
took the time to acknowledge it.”

Mark's motivation for sharing his story is to have a positive impact on young people. He said: "For me, this has been a way of helping everyone else’s kids. It’s a way for me to have a positive impact on children’s lives."

Speaking about the inspirational talk, Liz Nuttall, Head of A Levels at the college, said: “It was an honour to have Mark talk to our students. He’s a great role model for them to look up to, and his incredible journey supports this.

"I think each of the students who attended came away from this talks feeling inspired and privileged in being able to get these opportunities to support their learning at BTC.”

Reflecting on his talk, Mark added: “I would like to say thank you to Bridgwater & Taunton College for having me down to speak to their students, especially those from the Uniformed Protective Services.

"It was an absolute honour speaking to you all, and I wish you all the best for the future.

"Thank you to The Athlete Media Group for making it happen!”