THE son of a prolific local fundraiser is participating in one of the UK’s most gruelling endurance events in his mother’s memory.

John Bell, 34, of Hartlepool, is currently training for the Forces March, in which walkers, runners and hand-cyclists complete the equivalent of five marathons in five days for the Veteran’s Charity.

Mr Bell’s mother, Beverley Bell, battled breast cancer for many years, but died in December 2012.

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She was well known for her fundraising for Hartlepool Hospital’s Cancer Unit. Mr Bell's brother has completed the Forces March for the last two years, with him acting as support driver. This year, his brother and father are acting as his support team.

Mr Bell said: “Mum began supporting the charity when my brother took part in the Forces March. When I told her of my plan to participate, it put such a smile on her face.

“At this stage, I’m both excited and daunted. I’ve never put my body through anything like this, and I’m not sure what I’ll be like afterwards.”

Beverley Bell worked for Tilly Bailey and Irvine Solicitors in the firm’s Hartlepool-based Investment Department. The local legal firm is donating £1 for every mile of the endurance race, in Beverley’s memory. The Forces March takes place in Devon from Wednesday, May 22 to Sunday, May 16. The Veterans Charity was founded in 2008 to support to veterans of all generations. Mr Bell’s sponsorship page is at