TV adventurer Bear Grylls turned out with his family on Saturday to support a sponsored run and walk in aid of two charities, Help for Heroes and Swindon Headway.

The Gazette has an ongoing appeal for Help for Heroes, the Wiltshire based charity that has raised more than £32 million since it was founded in October 2007.

On Saturday the survival expert and Chief Scout, who lives on the Wiltshire/Berkshire border, took time out from a hectic filming schedule to start a charity run at Overtown Farm at Wroughton in aid of Help for Heroes, of which he is a patron, and the Swindon charity that helps people recovering from head injuries.

Nancy Wallis, who helped organise the event, said her family wished to thank Headway for the help it had given to her mother in law Rosemary White after she had been severely injured in a riding accident.

More than 200 runners defied cold drizzle to take part in a choice of two events, 14 mile or four mile runs.

One of the youngest taking part was St John's School, Marlborough, student Martin Andre, 14, from Winterbourne Monkton who single handedly raised about £400 sponsorship.

As Bear Grylls set the runners off he told them: "You are here for two great charities...go make a difference."

He told the Gazette he supported its fund raising appeal for Help for Heroes and he had a personal reason to support the ongoing fund raising for military hospitals like Headley Court that specialises in head injuries.

Grylls, who was accompanied by his wife Shara and the two oldest of his three children, Jesse, eight, and Marmaduke, seven, said: "These two charities do amazing work/ "When I had an injury when I was in the army I ended up in Headley Court which is the military rehabilitation place.

"Now they are seeing 100 soldiers a month passing through there who have lost limbs or arms .

"They do extraordinary work and I try to do as much as I can for them through various expeditions and supporting local events."

He said he was a patron of Help for Heroes.

Explaining why he did not have time to take part in the runs himself he said: "I am back for just a day between filming. I was in Russia yesterday and I am off to Australia tomorrow. I have come along today to show my support for these guys."