AN air force veteran from Chard is set to be abandoned on a remote island for five days with just a few bare essentials as part of a fundraising castaway challenge.

Darren Squires is the chairman and standard bearer for Chard’s branch of the Royal British Legion, and will be taking on the survival feat to raise much-needed cash for the charity.

Darren is a 38 year old father of two, who used to be an RAF airframe technician, and now works for ITT Industries in Axminster.

He said: “When I left the RAF in 2007, the RBL were there to give me support when I needed it.

“I was too proud to ask for the help at the time, but a volunteer came to my house and spoke to me, and told me how they could help.

“This was a huge relief for myself and Tabatha, my wife, as we had two young children, and it was a real shock going into ‘civvy life’.

“Now, more than 10 years on, I am the chairman of our local branch and this allows me to give back to the legion and look for others who need the support.”

Darren is part of a team of 20 who will be dropped on an unknown island off the south coast of England.

Starting on September 20, Darren and his fellow participants will travel by boat to the secret mystery beach location.

They will be met by a friendly survival team, who will carry out safety briefings and search bags for an contraband.

Each challenger will then have to set off into the wild to build their shelter - their only home for the duration of challenge week.

The week will also include a variety of survival skills activities, including bushcraft, navigation, foraging, seafishing, and life-raft survival.

Unknown obstacles also lie in wait.

Darren added: “This is an exciting challenge, and something that I am sure will urge me to find the next one.

“We must remember what our serving armed forces and veterans go through, and also their families.

“The legion is there to support them, and will be for years to come.

“Lest we forget.”

With just over a week to go until his charity challenge, Darren is calling on people to donate for RBL.

To do so, visit