ordinary people, extraordinary efforts summer/autumn 2010
royal opening at
of an icon
04 Focus on
More extraordinary stories about ordinary
people supporting our Heroes
06 On the road to
A special report on H4H’s progress and
our plans for the future
08 The curtain goes
up on Headley
His Royal Highness, Prince William of
Wales officially opens the H4H complex
12 Photo that
launched a legend
How our famous logo came to life in the
burning sands of Iraq
14 Cycling back
Diary captures the highs and lows of
H4H’s Battlefields Bike Ride challenge
18 Big help for a
Spotlight on companies who are making
H4H their charity of the year
20 Services charity
H4H forges new partnership with
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity
22 Social networking
Get together and chat online at our new
24 Help for Heroes
A small selection of H4H merchandise
which you can buy to support our
26 Choir sings out
Winners of the BBC’s Last Choir Standing
perform at thanksgiving service
27 The Last Post
Journalist Laura Collins talks about her
life-affirming experience with H4H
06 on the road to recovery
HEROES: the Help for Heroes magazine
Editor: Kitty Dimbleby Copywriting: Kitty Dimbleby, Kirsty Large,Wendy Searle,
Rosie Trousdell Photography: Ed Hodges, Peter Jordan, Peter Noyce, Gill Shaw, The Sun newspaper
Design & Editorial consultancy: www.theblueballroom.com
08 H4H Patron lydia cross
Help for Heroes, Unit 6, Aspire Business Centre, Ordnance Road, Tidworth, Hampshire, SP9 7QD
Tel: 0845 673 1760 or 01980 846 459
Our paper, our planet HEROES is printed on 130gsm paper, made from FSC accredited
To donate call 01980 846 459
12 the logo legend
Dear H4H Supporter,
Welcome to our third edition of HEROES. The
biggest news for all of us has been the opening
of the Help for Heroes Rehabilitation Complex
at Headley Court and you can read all about
it in this edition. It was a wonderful day and
tremendous that His Royal Highness Prince
William of Wales could spend so much time
with our supporters and the patients and staff
of Headley Court. I only wish that every one of
you who has contributed to the success of this
great appeal could have been there; but I hope
that those who were not will get some feeling
of what it was like from the article. Every one
of you who contributed was represented on
our Pathway of Support and constantly thought
about, so please feel justifiably proud of your
achievement and accept the sincere thanks of
Prince William and of all of us at H4H.
You will be able to read Prince William’s speech
and see that we are already off on our next
project to deliver direct, practical support to
our blokes. Our job does not stop at Headley
Court and, while there are boys and girls being
injured in the line of duty, we are going to be
there to support them. So, remember what this
is all about: it’s about the blokes, our blokes, the
men and women of our Armed Forces and it’s
about you, the ordinary, decent people of this
country who are doing your bit to help.
meets her prince
Thank you and keep going, you are a key part of
something wonderful, well done!
18 in good company
Bryn and Emma Parry
Help for Heroes
See page 24/25
to buy H4H
We’d like to say a massive thank you to every single one of you who has
taken the time to go out and do your bit to help our wounded servicemen
and women. Here are a few of the many exciting events that have taken
place in the last few months.
Full steam ahead
On March 27th 2010, a fully booked steam train ran
from Lancaster to York and back on behalf of H4H. Two
prestigious steam locomotives hauled the train, which was
sponsored by so many individuals and organisations that
it ran entirely free of charge! This meant that all money
raised from ticket sales was donated to H4H, totalling
Give with Gift Aid
We would like to remind all our wonderful supporters
to make sure they Gift Aid their donations if they can.
Gift Aid will increase the value of
the donation by up to 28% without
costing you anything. It allows us
to reclaim basic rate tax on your
gift. This means that should you
sponsor a friend for £10, it is
worth £12.50 to us. If you are a
taxpayer, it’s very simple to do and
just requires the giver to sign a
simple form or tick a box on an
online donation page. You can find out more about
Gift Aid on our website: www.helpforheroes.org.uk/
gift_aid or through the HM Revenue and Customs
Months of training certainly paid off and our 600 runners made us so
proud at the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday 25th April. Well done to
everyone and thank you. Our Band of Brothers team: (l-r) Bernie Bambury,
Martin Hewitt, Matt Kingston, Ben McBean, Peta Todd, Mark Elliott – all
achieved brilliant times, with Ben beating his previous time from last year by
completing it in 6 hrs 16 mins.
4 To donate call: 01980 846 459
Sale really takes the cake
March saw people across the country don their aprons, grab their wooden spoons and get baking
for H4H’s Colossal Cake Sale. Saturday March 13th was the designated day but the cake sales
were held throughout the month and continued well into April. Cakes and other goodies, both
sweet and savoury, were sold in schools, workplaces, market stalls and shopping centres. The
support has been fantastic and just goes to show that you don’t need to do a sporty challenge
to do your bit. H4H would like to thank cake-making guru, Jane Asher, who kindly made a special
H4H cake to auction at the Winchester sale and also provided us with a delicious brownie recipe.
Thank you to everyone who baked, brought and bought over the past few weeks. The 2011
Colossal Cake Sale is planned for April 2nd.
Bryn and Emma were
awarded OBEs in The Queen’s
Birthday Honours List for the
support that Help for Heroes
provides to the Armed Forces. Both
admit to being surprised to receive these
honours and even more so by the media
response and by all the extremely kind letters
and emails from members of the public.
“We feel very awkward being personally
honoured when so many people have done
so many extraordinary things to support our
blokes,” says Bryn. “Additionally, we are very
aware that our contribution is nothing when
put against that of the men and women of
our Armed Forces. However, we decided to
accept the awards on behalf of H4H and do
so as representatives of all those who have
contributed to this wonderful wave of support.
Please remember that H4H is nothing without
you all. We really are one very big team of
people joined together to do something rather
wonderful. We need to keep going, with no
compromises, to deliver the very best support
to the blokes and, with your continued
support, that is exactly what we intend to do!”
h4h hits the highway
H4H has a new team member – our lovely
merchandise vehicle. It can be seen out and
about across the length and breadth of the
UK. Carrying a large variety of merchandise,
it gives people a chance to browse through
some of our wonderful H4H products as
well as meet some of the team.
iraqi boys get charity insight
Wounded Iraqi boys Ali Abbas
(19), and his friend Ahmed
Hamza (21) spent a week with
H4H doing work experience. Ali
became a symbol of the brutality
of war in 2003 when his badly
wounded body featured on the
front pages of many of the national
newspapers. Ali lost both arms
and Ahmed lost a leg and an arm
in a separate attack. The pair are
hoping to set up a charity to care
for limbless children in Iraq and we
would like to wish them the best
Worcester County Cricket Club is supporting H4H throughout this season and are aiming
to raise £5,000 for us. They are proudly wearing specially designed camouflage cricket shirts,
which have the H4H logo on the sleeve and include camouflage panels teamed up with the
classic green of the Worcestershire Royals.
Help along the
road to recovery
By Bryn Parry
The initial task for Help for Heroes was to raise
£8m for a swimming pool. At the time it seemed
a nearly impossible feat to our small team of
workers and volunteers, but countless members
of the British public decided to do their bit and the
money just poured in. Enough was raised for the
swimming pool and gym complex in record time but it
soon became apparent there was plenty more for H4H
to do – alongside other existing service charities.
H4H sees the recovery process as a journey along a road. We want
to help where we can with our funds. It starts in the theatre of battle
where a young Serviceman or Woman (one of ‘our blokes’) is shot,
treads on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) or has some injury
from operations or training. There is little we can do in Afghanistan
apart from letting the blokes know that we are doing our very best
back here to get them everything they need to recover.
But once the patient arrives at Selly Oak, he or she will immediately
start to get support from H4H. He will receive a Grab Bag from
Troop Aid (funded by H4H) full of essentials like washing kit, T-shirts,
underwear and other goodies to make his stay more comfortable.
Later, when he is ready, he will be able to go out for a pizza or, if
he needs a CD or something to read, that comes from the Patient
Welfare fund. His relatives can stay in the SSAFA Norton House and
again we are delighted to have contributed £520,000 towards that.
Once the patient is ready to begin rehabilitation, he or she moves to
Headley Court where they will be able to make use of the wonderful
£8m H4H Rehab Complex that includes two state-of-the-art gyms,
treatment rooms, a gait analysis centre and, of course, the 25-metre
swimming pool (see page 8). Those minibus trips to the Leatherhead
public pool are, at last, a thing of the past.
When relatives come to visit, they can stay at the other Norton
House and, as the wounded start to build their confidence, they will
join the Battle Back programme to do adaptive adventure training.
Other confidence building trips such as sailing, skiing and rock climbing
are available, again funded by your H4H money, and delivered through
BLESMA and The Not Forgotten Association.
On February 11th 2010, H4H was able to announce, along with
the Chief of the General Staff, and the Director General of The
Royal British Legion (TRBL), its support for the Army Recovery
To donate call: 01980 846 459
Capability (ARC). H4H has raised £20m, which will be used to provide
four Personnel Recovery Centres (PRCs) at Edinburgh, Colchester,
Catterick and Tidworth. The Army’s Personnel Recovery Branch will
man them and TRBL has committed £20m to cover the operating
costs for the first ten years.
As it will take until 2011 for the PRC buildings to be fully operational
and, in order to ensure our wounded and their families get all the
support they need, we have come up with the Quick Reaction
Our funds, administered by the Services’ own charities (ABF-
The Soldier’s Charity, The Royal Marine Trust Fund, The Royal Navy
Benevolent Fund or the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund) will ensure
that individuals and their relatives can access H4H money to help
when needed. For example, if a wounded Serviceman needs his home
upgraded to enable him to live there, and there were no other funds
available, our QRF would pay for the upgrade. Similarly, if a relative has
run into financial difficulty by staying beside their loved one’s hospital
bed, the QRF can be used to help. Monies will be made available as
quickly as possible – within two days and in some cases within hours
(see page 20).
The next item on the H4H Wish List is to provide funds to help
pay for the Individual Recovery Programmes (IRPs) for those whose
injuries mean that they will have to move on into civilian life. We have
committed a further £5m each year (so far totalling £15m) to support
the IRPs. Typically, this fund will be used to enhance the resettlement
package already available to Servicemen and Women as they leave and
to help give them every chance at a successful future. As with the QRF,
this will be administered by each of the Service’s benevolent funds and
will be an integral part of the Service’s Individual Recovery Programmes.
We recognise that at some later stage of a Serviceman’s life, he or
she may need mental support as well as physical, so we have been
keen to support Combat Stress, the Services’ mental health charity,
and are thrilled that work has been completed on the £3.5m H4H
complex at Leatherhead. We are working with Combat Stress and
will shortly be able to announce a significant grant towards their ‘the
enemy within’ fund.
We understand that seriously injured Servicemen and Women may
have to leave the job they love. While we know that wars have to
be fought by those who are fit to do so, we want those who have to
leave through their injuries to have the very best chance of success
in the future. We think that we can help in this area and are working
hard to deliver the very best. The PRCs and the IRP are parts of this
project but we want to take this to the next stage and work with
other agencies to help with the transition into civilian life. It is early
days and we have a long way to go, but we are working hard behind
the scenes and will need a great deal of money to fund this.
We help our wounded heroes by building facilities, funding the
delivery charities and the individual needs of both the Serviceman and
his family. We have a very long list of things we want to do to ensure
that the Road to Recovery is as good as we believe it should be and
we are doing our best to achieve everything on that list. We just
need a lot of help and that is where you come in… so keep
HOW TO GIVE
• Call 01980 846 459
• Fill in the form to
donate on page 26
• Visit our website
By Kitty Dimbleby
On June 4th 2010 the sun shone for what
has to be the most momentous day in
Help for Heroes’ history – the opening
of the Help for Heroes Rehabilitation
Complex at Headley Court.
Excited guests gathered in the stunning marquee
set up in the gardens behind the Officers’ Mess.
Just before 1100 some of the guests were
ushered outside the H4H complex to await the
arrival of His Royal Highness, Prince William of Wales.
Sadly, space constraints meant that only 50 out of the
250 were able to be physically there but the rest of
the guests watched the opening via a live video feed
provided by British Forces Broadcasting Service.
With the press and guests in place, Prince William arrived, taking his
place alongside Bryn and Emma Parry, co-founders of H4H, and the
Commanding Officer of Headley Court, Colonel Jerry Tuck.
Bryn spoke first – welcoming the Prince (see Bryn’s speech opposite).
The Commanding Officer, Colonel Tuck then said a few words
before handing over to Prince William, who spoke of his pride in his
fellow Servicemen and women, and the members of the British public
who have supported H4H, saying: “Always supportive of its men
and women in uniform, this country has been elevated by Help for
Heroes to a state of realisation and proactive support for our military
that has made me very, very proud to be British and a member of
our Armed Forces.” (To read the rest of Prince William’s speech go to
Bryn then handed a symbolic scroll of deeds to the Commanding
Officer before accompanying the Prince as he walked down the
‘Pathway of Support’ to the entrance of the complex. Here each
engraved paving stone represents the challenging, creative and
downright crazy fundraising efforts of members of the British public.
These include ‘Octogenarian David jumped out of a plane’, ‘Terry (5)
cycled in the park without stabilisers’ and ‘Ben swam the Channel’.
‘Amazing’ said The Prince
The Prince was obviously impressed, exclaiming ‘amazing’ as he read a
few of the paving stones. The path is just not long enough to include
each and every one of the wonderful examples of fundraising but we
hope that the 150 we have set in stone will serve as a reminder to
the wounded of what was done by the public in recognition of their
sacrifices and let you, our supporters, know that every penny you
raised really counted.
H4H Rehabilitation Complex
The Pathway of Support
Pool and Gym entrance
To donate call: 01980 846 459
marks a day
Bryn’s opening speech
Your Royal Highness, Lords, Ladies,
Gentlemen and Mum,
On behalf of the Trustees, Emma and
all at Help for Heroes, I am delighted and
honoured to welcome His Royal Highness
Prince William to mark the official opening
of the Help for Heroes Rehabilitation
Complex. HRH Prince William and HRH
Prince Harry have played a very personal
part in the creation of this wonderful
facility; as fundraisers with City Salute,
as very public supporters of Help for
Heroes and of course as Servicemen. Their
support was key to the early success of
H4H and we are extremely grateful for all
they have done and continue to do for
This facility will stand as a lasting
tribute to the affection and support the
people of Great Britain feel for those who
serve in our Armed Forces. Hundreds of
thousands of ordinary people have done
their bit to raise the funds for this complex
and they continue to fund raise to provide
further, much needed, support.
Every contribution is valued and while
not everyone can be here today, we have
tried to represent their efforts with the
Pathway of Support, which gives a very
moving testament to the variety of
events, and participators, who have made
This complex was our first task but
we are far from finished yet – to date over
£53 million has been raised and every
penny of that has been spent or allocated
for projects that aim to ensure that our
wounded heroes get the very best. We can
promise you that as long as our wonderful
supporters continue to work hard to raise
money, we at H4H will make sure it is
spent to improve the lives of our wounded
boys and girls.
Today there are patients swimming in
the pool – an historic moment for H4H
– and we are deeply grateful to everyone
who has made this dream a reality;
I am now delighted to be able to
formally hand the Help for Heroes
Rehabilitation Complex over to the
Commanding Officer of Headley Court,
Colonel Jerry Tuck, and at the same time
thank him and his staff for all they do for
Just outside the complex the Prince stopped to meet some of the
wounded, including Rifleman Stephen Vause who was critically injured
in a mortar attack in Iraq three years ago and remains in a wheelchair,
unable to talk or swallow. The Prince also spoke with Derek
Derenalagi, who lost both his legs in Afghanistan; Ben Parkinson who
recently started speaking again after suffering severe brain damage
in an Afghan mine blast; and Martyn Compton who survived seventy
percent burns to his body.
Moving into the complex, Prince William met some Headley Court
staff before heading in to see the 25-metre swimming pool. Here, as
a group of patients continued with their class, the 50 guests gathered
along one side while the Prince walked around to join them.
“This place works miracles”
On his way, the Prince stopped to meet Sergeant Dave Corcoran, a
Royal Marine, who was demonstrating a state-of-the-art aqua jogger
that allows patients to run in water, taking the weight of joint and
muscles to allow them to build up their muscles safely and gradually.
Dave told the Prince: “This place works miracles. I’m walking now
without any aid and hopefully I’ll be able to return to service in
Prince William then met H4H patron Lydia Cross (9), who
presented the Prince with his very own H4H rugby Hero bear.
Lydia had both of her legs amputated below the knee when she
had meningitis at just two years of age and has been an incredible
supporter of H4H – raising funds by swimming, and running, a mile.
While the patients finished their class and exited the pool, the
Prince spoke to Lieutenant Will Dixon (26) who lost his left leg below
the knee after his vehicle was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device in
December. He told the Prince: “The facilities here are unbelievable
and it is all thanks to the British public, which makes it even more
important to us.”
Poolside champagne toast
Prince William then joined Bryn and the 50 H4H guests on the side
of the pool to raise a glass of champagne to toast the complex before
meeting and talking to as many people as time would allow.
After visiting upstairs and meeting patients in the cardiovascular
gym, the Prince was taken to the marquee where he spent time
meeting those key H4H and Headley Court staff members,
The full length swimming pool
the facilities are
unbelievable and it is
all thanks to the
volunteers and supporters who had remained in the marquee for
the opening ceremony.
Prince William then left, but the day was far from over, as everyone
made their way from the marquee to the complex to congregate in
the new gym.
H4H Outstanding Support Awards
Here the first ever ‘Help for Heroes’ awards ceremony took place,
where a select 50 individuals received a framed medal for ‘Outstanding
Support’, awarded in recognition of extraordinary efforts on behalf of
Recipients included members of the press who launched the charity
and then helped make it a household name, patrons, members of the
Armed Forces as well as volunteers and staff members who have
gone above and beyond the call of duty in making Help for Heroes
the success it is today.
Bryn gave a brief, and often moving, introduction for each person
and the noise of applause was deafening as everyone took the rare
opportunity to show their appreciation to these individuals for their
exceptional contribution to the H4H cause. The event was such
a success that H4H intends to hold further award ceremonies in
The rest of the guests then took the chance to tour the amazing
facilities in the complex while Major Stacy McQueeney, Officer
Commanding the Centre for Lower Limb Rehabilitation, who is based
in the complex, explained to HEROES what the new building and
facilities meant for her patients and staff.
She said: “This is the first time at Headley Court we have had a
purpose-built facility rather than having to work around an original
infrastructure. The new complex is the perfect environment for the
delivery of care and it is functionally and practically much better than
anything we have had to work in before. It is a very calm place, a
quiet and tranquil environment which, of course, is fantastic for both
patients and staff. This stems from the space there is available – staff
and patients are content because they have the freedom to move.
This allows patients to focus on their rehabilitation and although we
are only a month or so since patients started to use the complex, it is
To donate call: 01980 846 459
not too early to say there has been a marked
improvement in patients.”
But it is not just the new building and
equipment which has made all the difference.
The fact that the complex was built with
funds raised by the British public has also had
a huge impact.
Major McQueeney explained: “Quite often
patients are late to their classes because
they have stopped to read the engraved
paving stones, so even before they enter the
complex there is a sense of occasion. It means
so much to them that the sacrifices they have
made have been recognised, that the building
they are using for their recovery was given to
them by the British public and that, I think, has
made as much of a difference as the complex
and its contents.”
Everyone who toured the complex was
impressed – each and every room really does
have the ‘wow’ factor. From the huge sports
hall with its sprung floor to the cardiovascular
gym filled with state-of-the-art fitness
machines, including an anti-gravity treadmill
that can alleviate up to 90% of an individual’s
weight to allow patients to gradually increase
There are treatment rooms including a
Regional Rehabilitation Unit and Gait Analysis Centre. The gait lab is a
highly specialised environment that will enable staff at Headley Court
to scientifically measure how patients walk; this is especially valuable in
helping patients who are learning to walk with prosthetic limbs.
The 25-metre, five-lane-wide swimming pool includes a movable
floor that allows activities to be carried out at variable depths, helping
the physiotherapy staff to adjust treatment regimes to meet the needs
of their patients. The pool is designed so that two different groups of
patients can exercise in it at the same time ensuring that all patients at
Headley Court have as many chances as possible to benefit from their
new complex. At the deep end, jets are installed for patients to swim
against or use for resistance training. There is even a Jacuzzi where the
The Prince meets one of the patients
men and women can relax after a long hard day getting their bodies
back into shape.
There are also spacious consulting rooms and examination areas for
the treatment of patients and analysis of injuries.
As HRH Prince William remarked in his speech, the complex really
is a symbol of respect the British public holds for the members of our
Armed Forces and every single brick, tile and slate was paid for by
you. Help for Heroes is about the ‘blokes’, the men and women of our
armed forces, but it also about you, the British public.
Now there are patients swimming in the pool, receiving the best
care possible and that is thanks to each and every one of you. So, give
yourselves a pat on the back, well done and thank you.
Prince William’s speech
Thank you Colonel, Ladies and Gentlemen,
When my brother, Harry, and I first
came to Headley Court two years ago,
we were unsure about what to expect.
As soldiers, we had heard of the great
sacrifices of our fellow Servicemen, the
horrific injuries being suffered by them in
the service of our country. We expected
to find a place of suffering with, perhaps,
a pervading atmosphere of desolation.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here reigns courage, humour, compassion
and, above all, hope for the future.
How can this be Well, part of
it – it seems to me – is down to the
extraordinary spirit and indomitable
nature of the British soldier, sailor and
airman. However, it is also about individual
courage, the refusal to give up – even in
those darkest moments that each and
every one of you must have gone through.
But if courage is the foundation stone
of recovery, the unconditional love and
support of friends and family, and the
unstinting dedication and selfless care
of the staff here, and at Selly Oak, are
the tools by which this stone is levered
into place. And that unconditional love is
exemplified by that of Help for Heroes
for this place, Headley Court. This great
day – the opening of this state-of-the art
complex behind me – has been brought
about by this unique charity and the
millions who support it.
Very occasionally – perhaps once
or twice in a generation – something or
someone pops up to change the entire
landscape. Help for Heroes, under the
magnificent and brilliantly quirky leadership
of the mad cartoonist, Bryn, and his equally
inspirational wife, Emma, is one such
phenomenon. What it has achieved here at
Headley Court is, in truth, but the tip of the
iceberg. Help for Heroes has galvanised the
entire British people. Always supportive of
its men and women in uniform, this country
has been elevated by Help for Heroes
to a state of realisation and proactive
support for our military that has made me,
personally, very, very proud to be British,
and a member of our Armed Forces.
The challenge for the charity now,
having created this huge momentum, is
where to go next. Needless to say, Bryn,
John Cleese-like, is tearing on ahead of us
as usual, blazing the trail, now intent upon
ensuring a secure and fulfilling future for
those to whom we owe so much, once
they leave the sanctuary of Headley Court.
His next vital goal is the rehabilitation
of the Heroes… And I pity anyone
inadvertently standing in this man’s way.
Bryn, on behalf of everyone – thank
you for all you’ve done and all you plan to
do. And to the staff and patients of Headley
Court, your joint professionalism and
dedication to duty are quite simply
HOW TO GIVE • Log on to www.helpforheroes.org.uk • Call 01980 846 459 • Fill in the form to donate on page 26
birth of a logo
By Kitty Dimbleby
It was a hot and dusty morning in Basra in 2007 when
the iconic Help for Heroes image was born. Captain
Ed Hodges, of the King’s Royal Hussars, was three
months into a six-month tour of duty in Iraq when
he was asked to take the photograph that has become
Bryn contacted Ed’s regiment to ask for their help creating a picture
for the newly founded Help for Heroes website and Ed, whose
photographs had previously been published in The Times and Daily Mail,
was asked to set up the shoot.
“I had been told that a new charity to help wounded service personnel
needed a photograph of a couple of guys carrying another on a
stretcher,” Ed says, “so I grabbed two of the biggest blokes in the regiment
to be the stretcher bearers then the smallest guy to be the ‘patient.’
“We were based in the main base in Basra (The COB) so it was hard
to find somewhere with an uncluttered background to take the photo
– but we did our best. We tried a few things, mainly shots with the guys
stood still holding the stretcher, and emailed them to Bryn that evening.”
But the photos weren’t quite right. “I had a very clear idea of how
I wanted the photograph to look,” explains Bryn. “It had to be a visual
expression of support for our wounded. I wanted it to convey hope
and movement, the idea of a bloke being rapidly removed from the
battlefield – his thumb raised as if to say ‘I’m down but not out’. And
of course the shape of the stretcher bearers and the stretcher would
make the H to represent Help for Heroes.”
Bryn passed his thoughts back to Basra and the following morning Ed
and the three men went out again to try and make Bryn’s ideas a reality.
Up at first light
“We went out at about 6am when the light was good and before it
got too hot – by midday it would be up to 50 degrees. I got the lads
running back and forth, taking plenty of photographs to send back to
Second time round they hit the nail on the head and Bryn’s idea for
the image became a reality – and from then on the Help for Heroes
stretcher bearer silhouette started appearing everywhere from the
charity’s website to car stickers.
“When I returned from tour I had almost forgotten about the
photograph. So I got a massive shock when, on post tour leave, I walked
into a newsagents near my girlfriend’s flat in London and saw it on the
front page of The Sun,” says Ed. “I had no idea the charity was going to
be so big and was really chuffed that my image was being used to
represent such a fantastic cause.”
HOW TO GIVE
• Log on to www.helpforheroes.org.uk
• Call 01980 846 459 • Fill in the form to donate on page 26
12 To donate call: 01980 846 459
Ed was pleased to learn that his
photograph has now been made
into a six foot statue by eminent
artist Simon Dyer, and stands
at the entrance to the Headley
Court swimming pool and gym
complex funded by H4H.
“Seeing the image everywhere
– from a stall on Portobello
Market, rugby matches, The Sun,
clothes, and now as an enormous statue – makes me feel really proud,
not really of my photograph but of everyone involved in making Help
for Heroes the massive success it is today. Taking the photograph was
a small contribution to what I thought was going to be a low key
fundraising effort and it is incredible to see how far Help for Heroes has
come since that day in Basra.”
Chosen as the biggest
Corporal John Harris, one of the stretcher bearers in the photograph,
feels the same way: “I am the bloke leading the way with the stretcher –
I think I was picked because I am one of the biggest lads in the regiment.
It was hot work running up and down while Captain Hodges snapped
away, none of us really knew what it was for but we were happy to help
– it was a welcome distraction from everyday camp life.
“It is quite strange seeing my profile everywhere – even back home
in Manchester I see H4H car stickers. It’s cool, I’m famous and no one
knows it. My mum’s kept the copy of The Sun with me on the front page
but people don’t believe it when I tell them that I am the bloke in the
Help for Heroes photograph. But when they look a bit closer most of
them then recognise my chin! It was such a small thing but I feel proud
to be part of the Help for Heroes story. ”
i was really chuffed
that my image was being
used to represent such a
Corporal John Harris
Captain Ed Hodges
– a diary by Rosie Trousdell
Day 1: HMS Victory, Portsmouth 2 miles
Wow – what an amazing start. Cyclists gathered at HMS Victory in
Portsmouth to register. The atmosphere was fantastic and, after rousing
speeches from Bryn Parry and Jonathan Bryan of Discover Adventure
(DA), The Band of Royal Marines of HMS Collingwood gave a moving
musical performance. Then followed an inspirational speech by the 2nd
Sea Lord Admiral Sir Alan Massey sending the 275 cyclists on their way.
The wounded team were first to set off for the ferry, with Harry
Long on a hand bike leading the way. The others followed in a stream
of navy, red and sky blue while their loved ones cheered them on. The
departure wasn’t without incident, with one fall and one puncture, but
in true H4H spirit the two cyclists involved cracked on and soon joined
the rest of the team. At Portsmouth ferry terminal ‘Welcome H4H’ signs
greeted us with pipers and drummers there to see us off.
On the ferry, the cyclists gathered in the bar for one or two
celebratory drinks. Spirits were high and new friends were being made
– it was certainly a good indication of how the rest of the trip would
Day 2: Senneville sur Fecamp to Amiens
After an early wake-up call, Team H4H disembarked and were bussed to
the start point – Senneville sur Fecamp – a quintessential French village
where the villagers ensured that we were sent on our way in the most
Clutching home-made French flags and Union Jacks, local primary
schoolchildren led the riders into the churchyard where they laid
flowers on the Commonwealth War Graves of six British Airmen.
After this touching gesture, the children sang our National Anthem
with a sweet French lilt. Even the toughest of bikers couldn’t help but
smile at the joy on the children’s faces as Emma and Bryn gave each a
We were then ushered into the church, where our ‘Pedalling
Padre’ – Father Roger Dawson SJ, Assistant Catholic Chaplin at
Oxford University – led us in prayers.
After a bacon buttie, we were off! DA had warned that there were
some ‘undulations’ along the route. No one was put off, though, and
several long climbs were conquered, up many zigzagging roads.
The location for the next stop was a field with – on higher points –
breathtaking sea views. The first wreath-laying ceremony was held at the
field’s highest point above the harbour of St Valery-en-Caux where the
Memorial to the 51st Highland Division stands. In a silence, broken only
by the distant sound of the sea and the cries of the circling gulls, the
Padre once again led Team H4H in remembering the fallen while they
cycled to improve the lives of those still living.
We were soon on our way, winding along the coastline. We snaked
into Dieppe and met near the beach for a ceremony. The haunting
sounds of the bugle then sent us to our various hotels.
The Padre leads the prayers at Thiepval
If you would like to take part in an
H4H challenge and raise money for
the charity go to www.helpforheroes.
14 To donate call: 01980 846 459
Bike Ride 2010
Day 3: Dieppe to Amiens 75 miles
At 4am the ominous rumble of thunder and crash of lightning woke us.
Undeterred, we set off at 8am, trying not to think about the grey skies
and spitting rain.
It was to be a hilly morning but help was at hand half way up the
worst hill in the form of Team H4H ceremonial musicians – our bugler,
trumpeter and piper – playing rousing music to spur us on.
The first stop was welcome and we thank Dorset Cereals for
donating their delicious bars. The rain began to fall steadily but morale
remained high, despite soggy feet and wet clothing.
Other than the rain, the challenge for the vast majority was punctures,
as a result of the bad weather loosening tiny bits of flint. Many of
the road bikes’ thin tyres couldn’t cope. General Andrew Gregory
quipped: ”Today is the day of the puncture” while his wife Sally (an H4H
volunteer) noted cheerily that they had six punctures between them!
Lizzy Butler and I, on our hybrid bikes with thicker tyres, were lucky not
to have any.
It could have been the day that broke many spirits but everyone
stayed upbeat and cheerful and I felt proud to be part of it all. Cyclist,
Martin – pint in hand – summed it up: “Every bit of today has been a
best bit and, as for the weather, well, skin is waterproof, isn’t it”
Arriving in Dunkirk
Day 4: Amiens to Arras 70 miles
An amazing and emotional day which I personally found quite hard due
to ‘day three burn’ but the terrain was the kindest encountered so far
and the historical monuments along the way were well worth cycling for.
The weather improved – sunny but not too hot.
After 12 miles, we stopped at the Australian War Memorial where
we learnt of the Australian sacrifices in the First World War. It made me
realise just how many men from other countries contributed and died in
the Great War, something I think is often forgotten.
We lunched at Thiepval, home to the renowned Thiepval memorial,
an awesome monument listing over 70,000 soldiers’ names whose
bodies were not recovered from the Battle of the Somme.
My father, who is ex-military, gave a speech at Thiepval before a
wreath-laying ceremony. I was incredibly honoured to be part of this
memorial where I presented my father with one of the three wreaths
to be laid. Seven of us stood under this huge, awe-inspiring monument
while the rest of the cyclists gathered below. The cost of war really hits
home. I found the sheer number of names listed incomprehensible and I
was certainly not the only one moved to tears.
A more subdued group of cyclists continued before stopping at
the Canadian national memorial site at Beaumont-Hamel, the largest
Battalion memorial on the Western Front and the largest area of the
Somme Battlefield preserved. To see, and walk in, the trenches was a
heartfelt reminder of the suffering of the young men who fought for our
freedom in First World War.
In Arras, we visited the Wellington Quarry, a catacomb of tunnels
used by the Allies to hide 24,000 troops and provided an element of
surprise to the enemy in the Battle of Arras in April 1917.
It was damp and chilly, hard to imagine men living here for eight
days. Their presence is still very much there and, as we walked around,
the final, cheery letters of some of the men were read out. A strong
reminder that each man was someone’s loved one and not just a
Day 4 was perhaps the most poignant so far. Remembering the dead,
honouring them while riding alongside so many serving members of
the armed forces and some of our wounded Heroes, was a humbling
Day 5: Arras to Ypres 65 miles
A gentle 12-mile cycle started the day and clear skies meant that
the journey to the Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge was beautiful
The approach to the memorial was breathtaking, with the sun rising
behind it and the light bouncing off the white stone. It was an awesome
sight, dominating the landscape by sheer size and, more importantly, by
what it represents.
Here three wreaths were laid to honour those who died in the First
World War and also lives lost in more recent conflicts. In a poignant
moment, Adrian Hume laid a wreath in memory of his son Daniel, who
died in Afghanistan last year. The atmosphere was sombre and it was
another emotional time for many.
Back on the road, we followed the Western Front Line, stopping at
Loos to learn about the battle there.
After lunch it was full steam ahead to Ypres, with the occasional stop
at the Commonwealth cemeteries dotted along the route.
After an early supper, we headed to the Menin Gate in the town
centre where we were honoured guests for the daily Last Post
Association wreath-laying ceremony. The entire team gathered for this
awesome moment and were collectively proud as the H4H bugler and
Many riders headed to the square in central Ypres for a few beers
and much laughter as they shared cycling stories and enjoyed a wellearned
Day 6: Ypres to Dunkirk 40 miles
The 5am alarm was a painful one – even for those who had an early
night. Everyone made the 6am start, though, knowing this was the last
day of cycling.
The 40-mile cycle to Dunkirk saw us following the route taken by
many soldiers on foot in 1940. There was only one stop, which was at
Mount Cassel where we were detoured up the hill made famous by the
(as the song goes) Grand Old Duke of York, who marched his men to
the top of the hill and marched them down again.
Arriving in Dunkirk, we congregated by the beach. There was a sense
of excitement and pride at our fantastic achievement, as well as emotion
at the thought of what had come to pass here 70 years ago.
Cyclist Peter Morris told how his Padre father was one of the last
men evacuated from Dunkirk. While reported ‘missing presumed dead’
to his mother, he gave spiritual comfort to the healthy and wounded
men waiting to be taken home.
We gathered to cycle en masse down the promenade alongside
Dunkirk Beach, an awesome spectacle and very emotional. At the beach
memorial to those soldiers who lost their lives so close to being free,
we joined a special ceremony to remember those who fought here.
Representatives from the different European Countries involved in the
evacuations were present including many British Veterans and His Royal
Highness Prince Michael of Kent, himself a former soldier.
Bryn and some of the wounded were honoured to meet the
veterans before the ceremony began. The Association of Dunkirk Little
Ships, with the 50 small ships that took so many of our men to safety 70
years ago, were anchored just off shore.
The ceremony followed with wreaths laid, national anthems sung, a
12-gun salute and a minute’s silence. But the moment we will remember
forever was when our National Anthem was played. Our veterans, many
too frail to stand alone, all rose to their feet and sang along in quavering,
yet still strong voices. To see these men remembering the comrades
they served alongside was humbling indeed.
After lunch, we had some free time before the Memorial Parade. We
wandered down to look at the Little Ships, all of them lovingly taken
care of. It was hard to imagine the situation 70 years ago and the sailors’
It was then time for our final cycle ride. Though told it was only about
12 miles, it turned out to be a pretty tricky 17 and cycling straight into a
headwind made it hard.
Arriving triumphantly, if slightly windswept, at the ferry terminal, we
gathered in a hangar for a warming meal and changed into ‘civvy’ clothes.
In groups we set off to board one of two landing craft waiting to take
us to our accommodation for the night, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA)
The landing craft was a fantastic experience – especially seeing
the Royal Marines in action as they steered it towards the ship in the
30-minute journey. Once aboard Largs Bay, we found our dorms of 24,
with bunk beds stacked three high. Everyone was tired so it wasn’t a
late one, but a few beers were enjoyed during the evening as we waited
to greet those arriving in half-hourly slots from the shore.
A moment of reflection at Vimy Ridge
On the road to Ypres
To donate call: 01980 846 459
Day 7: Dunkirk to Dover
A 6.15am alarm alerted us to be ready in half an hour for the final
wreath-laying service. A quick cup of tea boosted the troops as they
gathered and the Pedalling Padre led them in the final act
The ship’s cooks laid on a huge fry-up which went down a treat.
People had some free time to explore the ship or gather their
belongings. Then we had a real treat – a Spitfire flew overhead while we
were on deck admiring the view of Dover. It was an awesome sight and
it whizzed past the ship performing a breathtaking series of acrobatics.
At 1pm the cyclists collected on deck to board the landing craft in
preparation for our Dover beach landing. The journey to shore was
quick, only ten minutes, and the sight that greeted us made all the lows
of the trip worthwhile: family, friends and Dover residents lined the
beach to cheer the cyclists as they left the landing craft.
The Red Devils put on a sky-diving display and the crowd strained
their necks, ooohing and ahhing as they watched the parachutists jump
from 3,000ft. Their parachutes stood out against the blue sky and they
trailed red smoke which spiralled around them as they moved through
the air, landing gracefully in the sea in front of a wowed crowd.
The atmosphere was incredible and the spirits from the exhausted
but elated cyclists were the highest they’d been as the achievement of
the last week truly hit home.
Rosie (left) with Tom Humphery and Lizzy Butler
The Red Devils display team
So far 81 companies have made Help for Heroes their Charity of the Year and the
number is rising every day. By Kirsty Large.
The Help for Heroes Charity of the Year (COTY)
scheme gives more and more opportunities for
businesses across Britain to ‘do their bit’ and
the support gained as a result is phenomenal.
The impact when a business or corporation’s entire workforce
pledges its support to the charity is magnificent. Corporate sponsorship
and commercial partnerships make up a large portion of funds raised
for Help for Heroes, helping us to reach those all-important targets for
urgent rehabilitation projects.
The companies involved with the scheme have all pledged their
support to the charity for the whole year, with plenty of ambitious and
diverse fundraising ideas for employees to get stuck into.
Those currently hailing Help for Heroes as their Charity of the
Year range from local golf clubs, flower groups and the Women’s
Institute (WI), to large corporations such as Vauxhall, Deloitte, Experian
and BAA Heathrow.
Topps is top
Britain’s biggest tile and wood
flooring specialist – Topps Tiles – set
up an electronic ballot to decide
which charity its employees would
be supporting as its Charity of the
Year. Help for Heroes came out
top with an overwhelming majority,
sparking the company’s biggest
fundraising drive to date.
Speaking about ‘Heroes Days’ –
the fantastic competitions held by
Topps Tiles stores up and down
the country to find ‘Topps No.1
H4H Fundraiser’, – Topps’ Chief
Executive Matthew Williams said:
“Help for Heroes’ mission is
undeniably serious, but we’re having
a whale of a time doing our bit
through sponsored exploits like
mountain climbing, pulling trucks,
skydiving, waxing legs, shaving heads,
organising sports and fun days, and
all manner of wacky events.”
To donate call: 01980 846 459
Landslide Vauxhall vote
In a similar act of allegiance with the charity,
Vauxhall Motors has also adopted Help for
Heroes as its Charity of the Year, pledging its
support for the next two years after what it
called a ‘landslide staff vote’.
Vauxhall has worked in partnership with
the British Armed Forces since its very
beginnings in 1903, having provided vehicles
for both World Wars, and today extends
significant discounts and tax-free offers to
retired or serving members of the forces
and their family.
Today, the company’s commitment to
Help for Heroes has seen a number of
exciting fundraising ideas come to fruition
and Vauxhall’s campaign to raise tens of
thousands of pounds for the cause is going
the distance with the help of a star guest.
Katrina Hodge, the current Miss England
and a serving soldier, was presented with
the keys to a brand new Vauxhall Astra in
which she will tour the country, spreading
the H4H message and participating in
fundraising efforts along the way.
Vauxhall is also raising funds through
its programme of high adrenaline VXR
Power events which kicked off in April.
Bespoke track days, karting and rollercoaster
challenges will be among the activities
culminating in a thrill-seeker’s dream event
– the end of season VXR Power Festival on
August 28-29, with all proceeds going to
Help for Heroes.
Helen Millin, Promotional Programmes
Manager for Vauxhall, said: “Help for Heroes
has really captured the imagination of
the nation and is the perfect charity for
Vauxhall to support. We’re a truly British
brand supporting a great British cause with
incredibly generous and enthusiastic staff
To purchase tickets for any of the
VXR Power Events or Festival, visit
Deloitte’s lasting legacy
Deloitte, one of the UK’s leading business
advisory firms, has chosen Help for Heroes
to be their corporate charity for the next
two years. A vote to decide which charity the
company would support saw nearly 2,000
employees choose Help for Heroes and the
dedicated team have already put their heads
together to come up with fundraising plans,
including assault courses, charity cricket and
football matches and overseas treks.
While Deloitte has committed itself to
its fundraising plans to aid Help for Heroes
financially, it is also keen to make donations
of equipment and training to the Recovery
Centres to leave a lasting legacy to the charity
and its work. As with many of the businesses
partnered with H4H, there is much to be
gained through close working relationships
besides monetary support and Deloitte
has demonstrated this by drawing on its
professional skills and expertise and providing
pro bono roles for their people, helping the
charity to expand and develop.
It is refreshing
to work with a charity
that has such a
“We are absolutely delighted to be working
with Help for Heroes as our charity of the
year,” said Deloitte Partner Tony Schofield.
“It is refreshing to work with a charity that
has such a can-do attitude and is excited about
creating a genuine partnership, not just focused
on fundraising but also how we can work
together to maximise our impact and engage
“Across our business, our support for Help
for Heroes has ignited a real passion in our
people for the important work the charity
does in providing direct and timely support for
injured servicemen and women,” he added.
Deloitte has also chosen to raise its brand
awareness and boost fundraising by creating
its own H4H Deloitte Hero teddy bear and
Help for Heroes is working with the business
to explore naming opportunities for the
Recovery Centres so that its support is visible
to all beneficiaries and supporters.
HOW TO GIVE
Adopting Help for Heroes as your company’s charity partner is a simple way to help our wounded. There are hundreds of ways you
can raise money, from a simple collection tin in your office to wearing silly wigs for a day or holding a sponsored army assault course
for your bosses – why not get your company on board!
For more information on COTY corporate fundraising, visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk/corporate_charityoftheyear.html
By Wendy Searle
Help for Heroes is all
about getting the
best for the men
and women of our
Armed Forces, and
we are proud to work with other
Service charities to make sure
The money donated is used in all sorts of
ways, from big projects like the Headley Court
Rehab complex to providing a juice machine
in one of the wards. While H4H does not give
directly to the individual, instead focusing on
fundraising and grant giving, donations to the
charity do go to our partner organisations
who are experts in assisting individuals, to
administer where they’re needed most.
Our most recent partnership is with ABF
The Soldiers’ Charity, with which we are
working to provide a Quick Reaction Fund. The
Fund, which was started with an initial sum
of £5 million, is there to be used by all three
Services to meet the immediate needs of the
injured and the Army element of this is to be
administered by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
Bryn Parry, co-founder and Chief Executive
of Help for Heroes explained: “H4H is
delighted to be able to work with ABF The
Soldiers’ Charity in this new initiative to get
the very best support to those whose lives
are changed by their injuries received in the
service of our country. While we accept that
war is brutal and people get hurt, we can all
work together to ensure that the wounded
and their relatives get the speedy support and
opportunities they so richly deserve.”
Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter,
Director General of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity,
said the fund would deliver “swift and decisive
support to those who need it within two
working days, ensuring that soldiers and those
involved in their recovery process get the best
available support. We want to use this money,
raised by an incredibly generous public, to
ensure that no one in need goes without.”
Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter in conversation
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity
Sergeant Gavin Harvey, Royal Electrical and
Mechanical Engineers has been helped by The
Soldiers’ Charity after being severely injured on
operations. Gavin was in command of a convoy in
Afghanistan during Operation Panther’s Claw when
his vehicle hit an Improvised Explosive Device.
Gavin said: “The explosion must have
been quick. The blast knocked me out.
I remember waking up and I had three
teeth missing. I had blood in my mouth
and thought I had internal injuries. I
spat it out and tried to breathe again.
The only thing I could think about was:
‘How’s my wife going to cope without
me being there’”
Gavin was flown back to Selly
Oak hospital in Birmingham and
began to recover. He has since
received treatment at Headley
Court Rehabilitation Centre with
physiotherapy, psychiatric support
During his recovery, ABF The Soldiers’
Charity helped with child care and
Gavin Harvey with his family
pet care costs to support his wife
Kerry, who is looking after their two small
daughters, Ella and Millie, while supporting Gavin.
Help for Heroes and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity will be
working together to help soldiers like Gavin, who will
be supported through the H4H grants and the specialist
knowledge of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
For more information:
As well as grants direct to the soldier and
their immediate family, money may also be
provided to those who have suffered financial
hardship as a result of the death or injury - on
operations or during training – of their son,
daughter, sibling or partner. The aim of the fund
is to get the money to the person who needs
it as quickly as possible – ideally within two
days but sometimes within hours.
Colonel Paul Cummings, Director Grants
and Welfare at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity said:
“I am delighted to be able to report that the
new Fund has got off to a flying start. The Fund
was launched at the beginning of April 2010.
With a simple bespoke grants application
process and direct lines of communication,
the aim is to provide much needed support
quickly, with a minimum of fuss.”
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity began as the
Army Benevolent Fund in 1944. Currently the
organisation helps more than 4,000 veterans
from every conflict since the Second World
War, including those from recent operations in
Iraq and Afghanistan.
This year, they rebranded as ABF The
Soldiers’ Charity, giving grants to individuals
and to other charities to help soldiers and
their families. There has been a dramatic
rise in the number of cases brought to
them and it is anticipated that this increase
will continue. To meet the needs of every
soldier who comes to them, the charity has
announced its aim to double its income in the
next five years.
Summing up, Col Cummings said: “The
grant giving experience of ABF The Soldiers’
Charity and the fundraising enthusiasm of
Help for Heroes provides a powerful long
term partnership to the benefit of serving
soldiers and veterans alike.”
Help for Heroes has always found the Internet and social networking sites to be
fantastic tools for spreading the H4H message and encouraging supporters to
‘do their bit’, as well as donate funds efficiently and safely. This spring we were thrilled
to introduce HeroNet and Bmycharity, two new H4H online initiatives that we hope
will increase our online family and build new and better connections between us and
our wonderful supporters.
HeroNet – the New
By Rosie Trousdell
HeroNet is our new social networking
site which will provide an opportunity for
everyone – fundraisers, friends, current and ex-
Servicemen and Women – to get together and
chat online. Fundraisers can swap hints and tips
on their events and you will be able to find
out about the huge variety of things people
are doing to raise money for H4H on a local,
national and global scale.
The site is simple to use even if you are new
to the world of online friendship. If you are
already familiar with other social networking
sites, then it’s a piece of cake!
Once you have set up your own profile,
complete with photo, you will be directed to
our home page where you can see the newest
members – perfect to keep your friends list
updated – who is friends with whom and
what people are up to. You can also see who
is online, so you can chat with them and view
network statistics showing the current number
of members and how many friendships have
You can also have your own profile space
which you can edit to your heart’s content. You
can see which groups you have joined and all
the updates your friends have made to their
own profiles. There is the option to privately
message people, upload photos and videos as
well as play games.
A great addition to HeroNet which, as far as
we know is unique among social networking
sites, is being able to send e-cards to friends.
There are four types: birthday and Christmas
are the obvious two but you can also send a
card to congratulate people on completing
an H4H event or for finishing their own
For the games fans out there, there are a
whole range of online games to while away
the time: from sports games to mind puzzles,
card games to educational and many more;
you are sure to find something to entertain
you and you can even mark your favourites.
HeroNet is really interactive, enabling users
to promote their event, share footage and
post regular blogs. The event section has a map
of the world that pinpoints events added so
people can see what is happening in the UK
and the rest of the world in support of H4H.
This events system is dedicated purely to H4H
fundraisers. It doesn’t cost you, the supporter,
any money but will save us money here at
H4H headquarters by saving us lots of time
– which means even more profit goes to our
wounded, the boys and girls who really need it.
Users are able to create groups on
HeroNet which serve as forums for other
users, whether to discuss the most popular
cakes at the office cake sale or to keep in
touch with ex-Service colleagues. It will be a
great way to make new friends and find out
what everyone is doing to help H4H.
HeroNet also benefits our wounded heroes
as it improves communication and raises
greater awareness of their needs. It can also be
used as a support network for the friends and
family of the wounded by encouraging them to
share their highs and lows and help each other
through difficult times.
You can stay in touch with friends, check
out the latest events or update your blog by
downloading the HeroNet app to your iPhone.
Simply go to the HeroNet site, click on the
‘add to home screen’ icon and enjoy HeroNet
on the move.
Help for Heroes is delighted to introduce
you to this fantastic site and to welcome you
into our online family – so sign up today and
come and meet the gang!
For more information see: www.heronet.org.uk www.bmycharity.com
Set fundraising free – Bmycharity
Through its H4H Trading arm, Help for Heroes has acquired the online
donation service, Bmycharity, to continue to offer fundraisers access to
free online fundraising.
Bmycharity was in danger of collapsing – that was until Help for
Heroes decided to back the initiative.
This exciting new H4H service ensures the continuation of a free
online fundraising site for H4H supporters, as well as for the rest of the
For H4H it was a logical money-saving step. If our supporters
continue to have access to a free online giving service, instead of having
to pay up to 5% commission to other online giving sites, we could save
up to £500,000 in donations each year. That’s the same amount as the
grant made by H4H to SSAFA to help build the relative houses at Selly
Oak and Headley Court!
Our acquisition of Bmycharity is at no cost to donors or the charity
– the administrative and overhead costs of running Bmycharity are
covered by the saved commission.
Help for Heroes Co-founder Emma Parry says: “At H4H, we do
everything we can to ensure that every penny we receive goes to the
cause and so we want to be sure that Bmycharity can continue to offer
its free service to the charity sector. We admire Bmycharity’s ethos and
are delighted to be able to offer this new service which we hope our
supporters will use for all their fundraising efforts.”
Bmycharity was set up by ex-Marines Ben Brabyn and Matt Cooper
in 2000 and has since helped 60,000 people raise over £28 million for
300 charities. It is the only major online sponsorship site that doesn’t
charge commission on donations, meaning every penny raised goes
directly to the charity.
If you are organising an event, or taking part in a challenge, whether
for H4H or another charity, choose Bmycharity to collect your
sponsorship money and ensure that all the funds you raise go directly to
the cause you’re supporting.
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D - FOOTBALL £12.00 (ALSO AVAILABLE IN MINI)
E - BIKE BADGE £1.50
F - VEHICLE BADGE £2.50
G - FOOTBALL SHORTS £19.95
H - CHILDREN’S WRISTBAND £1.00 EACH
I - I.D CARD HOLDER £1.00, LANYARD £2.00
J - PERFORMANCE SPORTS SOCKS £7.99
K - BOOT BAG £11.99
L - GOLF TEES - BAG OF 15, ASSORTED £3.99
M - LEATHER BOOKMARK £1.00
N - KNOT CUFF LINKS £4.99
O - PAPERMATE GRIP GEL PEN EACH- £2.00
P - HOODY £25.00 RED / NAVY
(NEW COLOURS; CHARCOAL GREY, BABY PINK & FUSCHIA)
MUSIC FOR heroes
Service of thanksgiving
When Somerset County volunteer, Fiona Rainbird-Clarke, (pictured below) first joined Help for Heroes she
decided her first project would be a big event to thank our Servicemen and Women for the sacrifices they
have made. After a year of planning, Fiona made it happen on February 27th with a Thanksgiving Service at the
beautiful Cathedral Church of St Andrews in Wells.
The Dean of Wells gave the address, followed by prayers of intercession and a blessing by The Bishop of
Taunton. Four readings represented all areas of the Services. Winners of the BBC’s Last Choir Standing, the Bath
Male Voice Choir, gave a performance, as did the Bath Mixed Voice Choir. The Guards of Honour and Ushers
from 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, based in Colchester where Fiona grew up, also attended.
The 1,200-strong congregation comprised local MPs, Military Personnel, Help for Heroes staff and the very
supportive general public. Guests of honour included Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson and the family of
Sapper Matthew Weston as a poignant reminder of why thanks were being given.
A fantastic £1,020 was donated on the day and it’s still coming in!
Send to: Help for Heroes, Unit 6, Aspire Business Centre, Ordnance Road, Tidworth, Hants. SP9 7QD
HOW TO GIVE
Pic credit: Debbi Humphries at Eric Purchase Photography
To donate call: 01980 846 459
THE LAST POST
Laura Collins is a senior
feature and leader writer
for the Mail on Sunday
By Laura Collins
A couple of Laura’s articles in the Mail on Sunday
Earlier this year I spent the morning with Emma Parry. Before going to meet
her I had gone through the usual procedures checking articles that had been
written on Emma, her husband Bryn and the charity they founded, seeing
what stories had been left untold.
Looking back I’m not quite sure what I expected from our meeting.
Whatever it was, I found something else.
For the past eight years I have been a features writer for the Mail on Sunday.
I have been a journalist all my working life.
Over the years I have interviewed people whose resilience and grace in all
sorts of adversity is humbling. Men, women and children whose achievement
and courage in sometimes dire situations is breath-taking. And I’ve met a fair
number of life’s eccentrics – sometimes wonderfully so.
But I have seen an awful lot of an altogether less appealing side of life
too. I’ve unearthed injustices so terrible that they can never be put right. I’ve
been lied to and I’ve pandered to celebrities who demand the ‘right’ sort of
limousine to collect them, who have tantrums that would put two-year-olds
Sometimes that takes its toll. Sometimes it’s difficult not to become rather
jaded and what really matters in life – the much, much bigger picture – slips
Then you spend a morning listening to Emma, you learn about Help
for Heroes and you are reminded of the good that people do. Your inner
compass is recalibrated.
I had already visited the hive of activity that is the Help for Heroes office
in Tidworth. It’s not much more than a tin hut and the Downtown office in
Salisbury isn’t much bigger. As I approached the door that wintery morning
a good looking young man strode briskly before me. He held the door open
and smiled. He must be one of the staff or perhaps a volunteer, I thought,
manning the phones that never stop ringing, or sorting the cheques and
letters that arrive by the sackload each day.
Inside he was introduced as Lance Corporal Matt Kingston, a Royal
Marine. He was charming and entertaining. He was in training for the London
Marathon which he was running for H4H. He had been shot in Afghanistan,
he explained in a matter-of-fact tone, and his right leg had been amputated.
They had tried to save it for close to a year. His running partner Ben had been
blown up – he lost a left arm and a right leg after standing on a landmine.
These guys were remarkable – not that they would tell you that. I doubt
they even think it. Strong, self-deprecating, straight-forward... guys like Matt and
Ben are heroes.
But it is only recently that the wounded have been added to the grim
roll call of fatalities that make their way back from war zones. Monuments are
erected to fallen heroes, not to the ones who survive.
H4H is proof that individuals can change things for the better. Emma
and Bryn and the friends, staff and volunteers at H4H are, in their dogged
determination and apparently endless energy, life affirming.
There is a quotation on the H4H website that reads: ‘Never doubt that a
small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world, indeed it
is the only thing that ever does.’
Before I visited Tidworth, before I met Emma, I was in danger of forgetting
that, or of no longer believing it at all. But H4H is irrefutable proof that that
statement is true.
Today the fund stands at almost £60 million and every single penny will be
put to good use, helping heroes and their families. The work that H4H does
is vital, in every sense of the word. Without ego or prejudice they just get on
with it. It is a cause which the Mail on Sunday proudly supports and one that
I’m glad to play any part at all in helping to promote.