IS IT a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Redditch’s very own superhero Martin Carver.
Ex-Para Martin is running and walking around all 31 of Redditch’s communities dressed as Batman, Spiderman or Superman – to raise money for the NHS and to put a smile on people’s faces.
And such has been the wave of enthusiasm he’s generated he’s had calls to take in Alcester and Studley too on his travels.
“I’ve been inspired by Captain, now Colonel Tom,” said the Abbey Stadium fitness instructor.
“What he did, raising more than £30million for the NHS for his 100th birthday in those really dark days when we were losing a lot of people, inspired the nation.
“I thought if I could help, and bring a smile to people’s faces at the same time, then it would all be worth it.”
Although on furlough Martin’s kept himself busy giving Zoom fitness classes to his clients, many of whom are in the highest risk category.
“I’ve got 23 seniors on the programme, cancer and stroke sufferers, and they’re inspiring too, and you have to be resourceful, using empty milk containers filled with water for instance to act as weights,” said the 60-year-old father of three whose wife Julie ‘thinks I’m nuts’.
“Those of us from the military owe the NHS so much when they treated so many of my colleagues for life changing wounds suffered on service in the The Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan and other conflicts of the world,” said Martin, who was a non-commissioned officer in the Red Berets.
And he adds that although he’ll be dressed as a superhero, the real heroes are elsewhere.
“What I’m trying to do is help the real heroes, the doctors and nurses in our hospitals and care homes who every day are putting themselves at risk to care for people fighting this terrible virus.
“Throughout their working lives they have never had the gratitude that they are getting until now, and we need to say thank you every single day.”
Martin set a modest target to raise £900 but that’s already been smashed, hitting £1,234 already.
“If we could reach £10,000 I’d be happy, the target is one of those things that’s been evolving all the time, but we’ll see how far we can go.”
To support Martin’s fundraising efforts, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Martin-carver – and give him a cheer if he comes running past.