THE Queen has been ‘touched’ by a West Berkshire mental health campaigner for his support to a brain-damaged road accident victim.

In a rare personal letter, written on high quality Buckingham Palace notepaper, the Monarch praised Ian Howgate, of Speen near Newbury.

For five years, Ian has dedicated himself to helping Mark Reynolds, who fractured his skull, and practically every bone in his body, when struck by a car in Thatcham.

Mark was just ten then, and lay in a coma for seven weeks before making an astonishing recovery after having his memory wiped out in the accident.

He re-learnt to speak, write, read, walk, plus all the other essential needs for a full active life, and ended up with a diploma in business studies.

Mark is now 60, the proud dad of twin daughters, Alison and Hannah, and is about to complete 1,000 miles on a static bike to raise money for Headway, his chosen charity.

Ian continues to help Mark through his mental health difficulties, particularly filling in application forms, answering mail, making daily checks on his well-being, and currently completing his own 1,000 miles alongside Mark to encourage him to cross the line.

The Buckingham Palace letter said: “The Queen has asked me to thank you for your recent letter telling Her Majesty about your friend, Mark Reynolds who, after 50 years, still suffers health issues due to being involved in a car accident when he was ten years old.

“The Queen is most touched by the compassion you express for your friend, and pleased to know of the encouragement you have given Mr. Reynolds in his recent cycling challenge to raise funds for brain injury trusts, and mental health awareness.

“Congratulations on what you have both achieved.”

Ian, 54, said: “Mark and I thank the Queen so much for her very kind words.

“Mark has been an inspiration to us all. To cycle 1,000 miles in a year took huge courage and effort for someone in his state of mind. He’s an absolute hero!”

Mark said: “I suppose I’ve done quite well for someone the medical people thought would be a cabbage.

“I want everyone suffering with health issues from brain damage to know there can be good days.

“I can’t thank the Queen enough for her wonderful letter.”

Should you wish to donate to Mark’s fund, it is and search to ‘Mark’s 1,000 miles’.