A YOUNG soldier from Canvey will trek 100km across the Sahara desert to raise money for a cancer charity.

Trooper Alan Berkeley, 20, is spending this summer in Canada with his regiment, the Kings Royal Hussars.

When he returns in November, he and fellow soldier Tom Pike, also 20, and in the same regiment, will take part in the trek in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

The pair train every day in the Army and are hoping to get used to the Saharan heat by continuing their training in Canada.

Mr Berkeley said: “There will be 40 degree heat when we get out there. It will be pretty warm.

“Everyone has been pretty supportive, even my regiment.

They’ve given us time out there to train.”

Mr Berkeley took up the challenge after his uncle beat cancer and was offered the chance to trek across the desert, but was unable to, because of his recovery.

Mr Berkeley added: “I chose the charity because my uncle has just beaten cancer and when he was in hospital one of the nurses said there where challenges you can take part in to help raise money for charities to support their work.”

Friend and fellow trooper Mr Pike, who lives in Somerset, said he had jumped at the chance to help. He added: “I think we will be able to do it in five or six days.

“We’ll be alright, although maybe we’ll have a few blisters when we come back.”

The pair want to raise as much money as possible before and during the trek.

To sponsor them, go to www.justgiving.com/teamhussar