Christopher Timothy, star of All Creatures Great and Small, Doctors, and Eastenders, recently visited Care for Veterans, to show his support for a former Royal Engineer who is undertaking an epic static cycling challenge to raise money for the charity…

Five years ago, Warrant Officer, Steve Boylan, returned home from a second tour of duty in Afghanistan. However, whilst riding his beloved motor bike, he was involved in a near fatal road traffic accident that changed his life forever. He suffered a massive brain injury which paralysed one side of his body and left him with speech and memory difficulties.

Aged just 39, Steve went from being an action hero and keen sportsman, to suddenly being unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair.

After three years in different hospitals, Steve arrived at Care for Veterans in Worthing in December 2018. It is here that he has been receiving regular physiotherapy which has given him a new determination to try to learn to walk again, and his goal is to walk five paces on his own by Christmas.

In his physiotherapy sessions, Steve uses a static cycle to build strength in his legs. He has set himself a challenge to cycle the 874-mile distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats in order to raise money for the charity.

Steve was amazed recently when he received a visit from TV actor Christopher Timothy who, when supporting the charity at an event at Arundel Castle last year, found out about Steve and his challenge.

Christopher says: “I heard about Steve and how badly he was injured and was amazed to find out that he has taken on this epic challenge. I just had to meet him and let him know how much I admire his courage and determination and wish him the best of luck with this initiative.

“It was great to meet Steve and see him cycling away with such determination. He has so far cycled the number of miles from Land’s End to Preston, so is almost half way and I know he’ll reach his goal. I’m 100% behind Steve and hats off to him for taking this on and raising money for this fantastic charity.”

When Christopher visited, he met some of Steve’s Royal Engineer colleagues who were also visiting to show support for their friend. Steve’s Dad, Peter Boylan, said: “It was great to see Steve with his former Royal Engineers and we can’t thank them enough for all their encouragement for Steve’s challenge. Also how kind of Christopher Timothy to support Steve and give his time to come and encourage him.”

Steve’s friend and former colleague, Captain Dave Curry, has helped set up the challenge for Steve, including his online fundraising pages, and has also put together a plan of Steve’s route, indicating targets for him to meet each month throughout this year. He explains: “A good Royal Engineer proverb is ‘always be prepared to improvise, adapt and overcome.’

“I reminded Steve of this to encourage and motivate him, not only for this challenge, but for all of his rehabilitation. Before his injury, he had completed charity challenges, so it’s great that this gives him the opportunity to take on another, and to give something back to Care for Veterans, which provides such amazing support for Steve.”

Steve hopes to raise £874 from this challenge – £1 for each mile cycled. You can show Steve your support by visiting his JustGiving page.