A former soldier has conquered challenging Icelandic terrain to give back to our Armed Forces and their families.

Ryan March, from Upton , Chester , has an appropriate surname for someone who trekked for five days to help raise more than £37,000 for SSAFA (formerly the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.

The SSAFA team walked for hours on end through lava fields, frozen ground and dramatic scenery to conquer an endurance test which culminated in their banner being unfurled at the crest of Skógarfoss, a breath-taking waterfall with a 60-metre drop.

Ryan, who works for the charity’s business partner Openreach, was previously an officer in the infantry between 2005 and 2014 and completed tours of Afghanistan and Iraq. He was motivated to participate through the memory of comrades who lost their lives.

Icelandic volcano
Icelandic volcano

And with personal connections to fellow personnel affected by life changing injuries, he was driven to support the charity that helps care for them.

Ryan, who lives with fiancée Emma and six-year-old daughter Bailey, said: “I served as an officer in the infantry for 10 years. Commissioning into the Cheshire Regiment, I served all over the world including tours of Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"My travels took me to Africa, different parts Europe and the Caribbean on exercise and short term training assignments. I was lucky enough to train infantry recruits and also enjoyed an attachment to the Royal Welsh.

"In short, I have had the privilege of leading some of the best people imaginable, whose bravery, selfless commitment and loyalty towards one another is beyond question. I witnessed acts of generosity to others, bravery, comradeship and resilience where men young and old overcame the most difficult of days.

Soldiers from the The Royal Welch Fusiliers mount helicopter borne Eagle VCP's (Vehicle Check Points) in July 2004 around the southern Iraqi town of Basra. (Photo by Giles Penfound/British Army via Getty Images)

"Unfortunately, people that have served, like in all walks of life, sometimes need help. This is where SAAFA steps up.

"I have promised to give something back since leaving to spend more time with my daughter - so here I go, please help with whatever you can spare."

Each participant was personally been tasked with a minimum target of £3,000, with all money raised going towards providing practical, emotional and financial support to members of the Forces family in need. And Ryan is well on his way to meeting his target having so far raised more than £2,400. Click here to make a donation .