AN EX-SOLDIER walked 34 miles with heavy weights on his back around the Three Towns so his disabled teen stepdaughter can reunite with pals once lockdown ends.

Andy Triplow, 35, was all set for a major 21 mile trek from Ardrossan to the Falkirk Wheel to raise funds for the Butterfly Club at James McFarlane school.

But his plans were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He was inspired by his stepdaughter Louisa, who has cerebral palsy and autism, and enjoyed day trips with her friends through the Butterfly Club.

Andy told the Herald: “I’ve completed 34 miles all in. I went around the Three Towns every day for five days to ensure I was sticking to two hours of daily exercise.

“The Butterfly Club is a place where kids from the school can go and socialise. It’s for people like Louisa with complex needs. They organise special days out for the kids, they take them to places like Millport, and other special days out.

“They rely on donations, and I had already planned a fundraiser for them, so I was determined to see it through.”

Andy raised £350, after completing the walk in the middle of April.

As lockdown restrictions lifted, the family were able to be reunited with Louisa in her gran’s garden.

Andy said: “Lockdown has been quite stressful for us. Louisa has been shielding, she stays with my wife Ellie’s mum. We’ve hardly seen her throughout it. Her immune system is not strong, but stronger than most in her category.

“As things have been slightly relaxed, we have been able to see her which was emotional.

“No one knows when the school can reopen, because it is hard for them to understand social distancing, but she is really missing her friends.”

Furloughed from his job as a lorry driver at WH Malcolm, the former British solider who served in Iraq, has been carrying been helping out at the Church of Nazarene cooking meals for the Foodbank.

He added: “Exercise changes your mental health. I’ve struggled with what was diagnosed as complex trauma, but during these times it’s important to keep busy.”

“I’ve also been raising awareness of mental health on Facebook, by doing 25 press ups a day for 25 days.”