A determined fundraiser walked coast to coast in under 48 hours to help a friend with a life changing spinal injury.

Mark Robson started at Siddick, on the Cumbrian coast, on Friday, and finished on Sunday, with his feet in the sea at Tynemouth.

His challenge was to complete the 101-mile trek in under 48 hours – and he proudly finished in 47 hours and 55 minutes.

Mark, a sheep shearer who also runs Robson Animal Health, an agricultural merchants in Wolsingham, County Durham, completed the walk to try and raise £10,000 to help his friend, Gemma Potts, from Crook.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Mark Robson with Gemma Potts at the end of his coast to coast challenge

She was a regular face at Robson Animal Health, but in June 2021 suffered a devastating spinal injury at an equestrian event.

Gemma underwent major surgery and is now unable to move from the neck down. She is living in a residential home as her needs are extremely complex and she requires 24-hour care.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Mark Robson at the beginning of his challenge

Friends and supporters have embarked on a major fundraising campaign to help buy specialist equipment, and through the Gemma Potts Community, she is now preparing to move home. An opportunity has arisen for her to attend a specialist rehabilitation centre, STEPS in Sheffield, where a 12-week residential course will cost about £115,000.

Supporters say there is real hope that this specialist therapy will help Gemma reach her goals – to be able to stroke her horse Charlie and pet her dogs, Skye and Sage.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Mark Robson with his daughter and Rebecca Bradley

To date the Gemma Potts Community has raised approximately £55,000 and the committee is working hard behind the scenes planning more awareness and fundraising events.

For more information about the Gemma Potts Community, email info@gemmapottscommunity.co.uk or see www.gemmapottscommunity.co.uk.

To sponsor Mark, see www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mark-robson-101.