A FORMER Royal Marine and Special Forces veteran will be stopping off in Kidderminster today as part of his nationwide charity bike ride from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.

Ex-butcher Nigel Thomas will ride a single-gear, 1940s butcher’s bike 1,027 miles as part of his campaign to raise £1 million for soldier support charities.

They include Team Army, Hire a Hero, Walk on Wales and the Ray Gravell Trust, which are causes dear to Mr Thomas’ heart.

Mr Thomas said: “We all rely upon our soldiers to be there when we need them.”

“I’m doing this for all the boys and girls in the forces who need our help now, whether it’s a chance to play sports that are so vital to their physical and mental wellbeing, to find a job after leaving the military or perhaps help recovering from injury or illness.”

Mr Thomas will be stopping overnight in Kidderminster at the end of the fourth of 13 days cycling.

If the route sticks to plan, he will pass through Stourport at 3.30pm from Bridge Street, where he will ride on to Minster Road, finishing on Park Lane in Kidderminster at about 3.50pm.

In true military style, Mr Thomas will carry his tent and provisions on the front of the bike and camp overnight in fields and lay-bys but according to his close friend, former SAS commander and TV presenter Bear Grylls, that will not pose a problem.

“This is going to be a tough challenge but that’s Nigel through and through,” he said.

“He is determined to help those who most need it, to do it the hard way and with a smile to the world.”

Mr Thomas, who has already starting collecting money towards his £1 million target, wants to encourage the public to turn up and support him along his journey.

For more information visit butchersbikechallenge.org.uk To donate visit mydonate.bt.com/events/bbc/167731 or text TBBC14 with the amount to 70070.