A YORK soldier's charity mission has been stalled - because the desert doesn't offer enough fund-raising opportunities!

Staff Sergeant Dougie Icke is one of hundreds of servicemen from 2 Signal Regiment, based at Imphal Barracks in Fulford Road, who are currently out in the Gulf.

He has written to the Evening Press from Kuwait to appeal for readers to help him take part in a mountain trek after he returns from the war.

He said: "I have been involved in raising much-needed funds for the National Deaf Children's Society for three years.

"Before I deployed to the Gulf, I applied to undertake a trekking challenge in the mountainous regions of China. The challenge is an opportunity to raise money for the NDCS, and the minimum sponsorship required is £2,500.

"Before I deployed, I managed to raise £1,000, and donated £200 myself. Unfortunately, my fund-raising efforts have been temporarily halted, as the desert doesn't offer too many fund-raising opportunities."

He asked if readers could help by offering sponsorship. "It's a long shot but it might just work out. Of course, every little bit helps, and both myself and the National Deaf Children's Society would be extremely grateful."

He said donations should be made by cheques payable to The National Deaf Children's Society.

An army spokeswoman said any such cheques should be sent to: The Regimental Accountant, 2 Signal Regiment, Imphal Barracks, York.

She said Staff Sergeant Icke, who is single, had previously taken part in expeditions to Mexico and Peru.

Updated: 12:05 Saturday, April 05, 2003