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Harry thanks 100km fundraising trekkers for ‘helping those who need it most’

The Trailwalker Relay is raising money for The Gurkha Welfare Trust and Oxfam amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Harry in Nepal (Chris Jackson/PA)

Harry in Nepal (Chris Jackson/PA)

Harry in Nepal (Chris Jackson/PA)

The Duke of Sussex has sent a good luck message to fundraisers taking part in a 100km walking challenge.

The Trailwalker Relay event is being organised in support of The Gurkha Welfare Trust and Oxfam.

Harry, who served alongside the Gurkhas in Afghanistan and visited Nepal following the 2015 earthquake, urged participants to “dig deep” to complete the endurance feat.

“Thank you for stepping up for the Gurkhas, for Nepal and for all the communities impacted by this pandemic,” the duke said in his video message.

“Doing this relay virtually is going to make it even more difficult than it already was so you’re gonna need to dig deep, physically and emotionally, to get you and your team across those 100 kilometres.

“I know that you can do it and with every step you take just remember you’re helping those who need it most.”

The now-virtual event usually takes place across the South Downs, with hundreds of civilians setting off alongside the Queen’s Gurkha Signals.

But because of the pandemic, the mass walk was cancelled, with people now taking part separately, splitting the distance between teams, and following social distancing rules.

Harry recalled his visit to Nepal in 2016 following the devastating earthquake, and praised the spirit and resilience of the Nepalese people.

He added: “With Covid-19, the world is being pitted against a new challenge, one that is devastating and destructive in its own right.

“I am heartened to see that once again, the Nepalese spirit is unwavering.

“In Afghanistan, I was honoured to serve alongside the Royal Gurkha Rifles. These soldiers showed me what they believe in.

“They showed me what their values are. The Gurkha Welfare Trust and Oxfam are working together to supply PPE, establish hand-washing facilities and support public education.

“They are rallying together in incredibly difficult circumstances to help communities beat this virus and to save lives.”

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Harry watching the sun rise after spending the night in the Himalayan hilltop village of Leorani on his visit to Nepal (Chris Jackson/PA)

Harry watching the sun rise after spending the night in the Himalayan hilltop village of Leorani on his visit to Nepal (Chris Jackson/PA)

PA

Harry watching the sun rise after spending the night in the Himalayan hilltop village of Leorani on his visit to Nepal (Chris Jackson/PA)

The Gurkha Welfare Trust has been supporting Gurkha veterans, their families and communities in Nepal during the outbreak by checking on the vulnerable, distributing medication and clean water, and giving out financial aid.

Oxfam has been providing hand-washing facilities, clean water, toilets and soap in the most vulnerable communities, reaching over four million people across 62 countries.

The Trailwalker Relay begins on Monday and runs until September 27.

PA