A COUNCILLOR has paid tribute to the courage of those serving in the Army by raising £22,000 for a charity which supports wounded and sick soldiers.

Ripon North Yorkshire County Council member Bernard Bateman, who recently stepped down as the authority's chairman, organised social functions, a gala ball, and a concert for ABF The Soldiers Charity, during his 12-month term of office.

The money, which will be presented to the charity at a ceremony at Catterick Garrison next month, will be used primarily to fund activities at the Personnel Recovery Unit, in Cambrai Lines, at Catterick.

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The unit helps soldiers either to return to the Army or to establish a civilian life by providing personal recovery plans.

Cllr Bateman said: “I am so glad to have been able to do something in my year of office to help the brave men and women who suffer injuries in the service of their country.

"Their selflessness and bravery deserve all the support we as a community can give.”

Major Barney Barnbrook, the charity's regional director, said Cllr Bateman went to extraordinary lengths to raise the money.

The outgoing chairman of Hambleton District Council has handed over £1,100 to the Farming Community Network and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, which he raised during his year in the role.

Thornton le Beans councillor Bob Baker said: “Both charities have been causes close to my heart.

“I have worked with both organisations for many years and the support to rural communities and farming is still needed today as much as it has been in the past.”