An Army captain is to climb the equivalent of Everest in 24 hours to raise money for a girl who was critically injured in a riding accident.

Gulf War veteran Christopher Hames plans to climb Roseberry Topping, Cleveland, 30 times from noon on Saturday (25 February).

Capt Hames wants to raise funds for Maisie Welsh, who suffered life-changing facial injuries in a fall while hacking in November. The 11-year-old was blinded in one eye and needs “years of painful reconstructive facial surgery”.

The 46-year-old, a serving officer with the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, said: “I’ve had some pretty epic challenges over my 29 years in the Army, but this will be up there as being one of the toughest.

“It will be worth every step to raise funds to support Maisie and her family who have had their lives turned upside down.

“Just days before the accident I saw Maisie play football with my daughter. It goes to show how quickly things can change for any of us. Everything has changed for her and her family and support is needed in so many ways.

“Maisie is fully aware of the extent of her injuries and with a huge amount of help is slowly coming to terms with them. She is a fighter, but she still has to undergo so much throughout the rest of her life.”

Father of one Capt Hames will cover a minimum of 56 miles and 17,010 feet of climb and descent in his challenge, while the King’s Head Inn, Newton-under Roseberry, will provide accommodation and refreshments to the team.

The pub is also running a number of fundraising activities over the weekend, including special “meals for Maisie”, from which £1 of every sale will go to the fund. Donations can also be made here.

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General manager Chris Moor said: “As a father myself my heart goes out to Maisie and her family. We are in absolute awe of Chris’s challenge and are delighted to be able to support him and assist in raising much-needed funds for Maisie and her family at such a difficult time.”

Maisie’s father Adam Welsh said: “It’s a very special thing Chris is doing for Maisie and we can’t thank him enough and the King’s Head for their support. It has been a very difficult time for our family and the fact that people are prepared to go to such lengths to support us is appreciated by us all.”