A retired Bridport police officer who was stabbed in the line of duty is travelling across the country by bus to raise money for mental health charities.

John Hadfield, 70, has set himself the challenge of travelling from Land's End to John O'Groats using his senior citizens' bus pass which gives him free travel.

After spending many years in the Army, John eventually settled in Dorset and worked for Dorset Police in Bridport, Dorchester and Weymouth for the best part of ten years before being seconded to the Regional Crime Squad in Bristol in 1986.

It was here that John was severely injured in a terrifying attack. In December 1990, while making an arrest in Bristol, John was stabbed five times.

"One nicked my aorta," he said, "I was bleeding to death but luckily the local hospital was nearby and a brilliant surgeon saved me.

"I have suffered PTSD [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder] ever since. This is why I am raising money to combat PTSD as a result of fighting in the wars. Some of these people are still fighting those battles long after they have finished.

"The Great Bus Pass Adventure is an attempt for me to become the fastest 70-year-old to travel from Lands End to John O'Groats by scheduled bus services using my senior citizens' bus pass."

The two charities John is raising for are Combat Stress and The Household Cavalry Foundation. Both charities support members of the armed forces and armed forces veterans who suffer with mental health issues. The money raised will be split evenly between the two charities.

John and his wife Ann have been planning their 'Great Bus Pass Adventure' for about a year. He has managed to get sponsorships from many train companies so that his return journey by rail will be completely free.

Planning a trip of this magnitude requires a great deal of planning because there is little room for error. John and Ann will be hoping their buses run on time because their tightest window is in Inverness, where they will only have ten minutes to catch the next bus.

"I have always wanted to do something like this," said John, who lives in Poole.

"When you first get your pass pass you do think about how far you could go on it.

"It's not going to be like hopping from one bus to another, there are going to be long waits and our schedule is definitely subject to change."

John and Ann leave on September 23 and the journey could take between six and eight days. To donate to their cause, visit virginmoneygiving.com/JohnHadfield