A VETERAN’S charity is making tracks for a mammoth expedition across Europe and has secured nearly a further £10,000 funding from the National Lottery to carry on the project on its return.

Since November last year Veterans in Action (VIA) has been working with former soldiers to re-build four Land Rovers to take on a six-week expedition in August driving across 14 countries, visiting war landmarks and climbing two mountains.

On return of the group of 12 from the challenge, the National Lottery’s £9,958 will go towards the next phase of the project, taking military families out on weekend expeditions.

Founder Billy Macleod said: “The whole project is about getting people together and working on a project that is a positive outcome as it is a building process, it is like an analogy of a human, we have stripped everything down to nothing and rebuilding it again and that is what we will see drive out for for the first time.

“The vehicles are going to be used to run many expeditions. The aim is to target it at the garrisons, so we take families out on days to do small, mini-expeditions with them, to bring the family together again.

“We’ll have parents coming together with their children doing off road driving, camping for weekend trips.”

On the Land Rovers first journey out, around 50 per cent of the veterans going suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues.

VIA’s trip will be returning to countries such as Bosnia where some ex-soldiers on the trip were previously posted.

Billy added: “Some places our veterans worked, we’re taking them to a place where they can see their efforts weren’t in vain and the countries have moved on.

“What we give them is positive experiences so they have always got something positive to reflect on.”