publication

mintyhuntley

publication

HEROES

ordinary people, extraordinary efforts summer/autumn 2010

It’s about

the ‘blokes’

08

royal opening at

headley court

12

the birth

of an icon

14

battlefield

bike ride


Heroesinside

INSIDEsummer/autumn 2010

04 Focus on

fundraising

More extraordinary stories about ordinary

people supporting our Heroes

06 On the road to

recovery

A special report on H4H’s progress and

our plans for the future

08 The curtain goes

up on Headley

Court

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

in time

Diary captures the highs and lows of

H4H’s Battlefields Bike Ride challenge

18 Big help for a

great cause

Spotlight on companies who are making

H4H their charity of the year

20 Services charity

support

H4H forges new partnership with

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity

22 Social networking

launch

Get together and chat online at our new

HeroNet site

24 Help for Heroes

shop

A small selection of H4H merchandise

which you can buy to support our

wounded heroes

26 Choir sings out

for Heroes

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

Production team

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

Contact

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

wood-free pulp

cover photo

INS

www.helpforheroes.org.uk

To donate call 01980 846 459

12 the logo legend


Dear H4H Supporter,

14 remembering

the fallen

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

Co Founders

Help for Heroes

See page 24/25

to buy H4H

merchandise

3


Heroesfundraising

Ordinary People,

Extraordinary Efforts

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.

£40,000

raised

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

around £40,000.

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

website: www.hmrc.gov.uk/individuals/giving/gift-aid

Marathon magic

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.

Queen’s BirthdaY

Honours

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.

Howzat

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

of luck.

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.

www.helpforheroes.org.uk

5


Heroesfeature

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.

State-of-the-art rehab

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

6

To donate call: 01980 846 459


£57 million

donated

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.

Ready money

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

Fund (QRF).

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).

Moving on

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

fundraising please!

HOW TO GIVE

• Call 01980 846 459

• Fill in the form to

donate on page 26

• Visit our website

www.helpforheroes.org.uk

www.helpforheroes.org.uk

7


Heroesfeature

royal opening

to remember

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.

8

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.

Welcome

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

page 11).

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

Peter Noyce

Peter Noyce


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

‘the blokes’.

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 possible.

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;

thank you.

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

our wounded.”

Thank you.

www.helpforheroes.org.uk 9


Heroesfeature

Peter Noyce

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

January.”

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,

10

The full length swimming pool


the facilities are

unbelievable and it is

all thanks to the

British public


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

our wounded.

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 future.

Perfect environment

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

their strength.

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

beyond words.

HOW TO GIVE • Log on to www.helpforheroes.org.uk • Call 01980 846 459 • Fill in the form to donate on page 26

www.helpforheroes.org.uk

11


Heroesfeature

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

famous nationwide.

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

the UK.”

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


Statue

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

fantastic cause


Corporal John Harris

Captain Ed Hodges

www.helpforheroes.org.uk

13


Heroesfeature

Big Battlefield

– 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

pan out!

Day 2: Senneville sur Fecamp to Amiens

50 miles

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

wonderful fashion.

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

Hero bear.

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.

org.uk/h4h_events_2010.html

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

historical statistic.

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

experience.

www.helpforheroes.org.uk 15


Heroesfeature

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

and inspirational.

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

piper performed.

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

break.

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’

bravery.

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)

‘Largs Bay’.

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.

16

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

of remembrance.

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

www.helpforheroes.org.uk 17


Heroesfeature

Companies pledge

their support

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.”

18

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

and retailers.”

To purchase tickets for any of the

VXR Power Events or Festival, visit

www.vxrpowerevents.co.uk.

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

can-do attitude.


“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

our people.

“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

www.helpforheroes.org.uk 19


Heroesfeature

Working

together

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

this happens.

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

20


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

and counselling.

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:

www.soldierscharity.org

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.”

21


Heroesfeature

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

online offering

By Rosie Trousdell

Introducing HeroNet

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

been made.

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

fundraising.

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

22


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

charity world.

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.

23


Heroesfeature

Layer up

this

Autumn

STRIPED SOCKS £5.95

KEEP WARM, WITH OUR EXTENSIVE

RANGE OF HELP FOR HEROES

BRANDED CLOTHING...

STRIPED

POLO

SHIRT

£19,95

(AVAILABLE IN

UNISEX AND

LADIES FIT)

LOUNGE WEAR

PANTS £30.00

SCARF £39.50

BEANIE £9.99

SOFT SHELL

JACKET

£50.00

BASE LAYER

£24.95

(ALSO AVAILABLE

IN WHITE)

PERFORMANCE

T-SHIRT

£19.95

24

24


B

C

FEATURED ON COVER;

‘MY DADDY IS A HERO’ KIDS T-SHIRT

£8.99

A

D

E

F

G

NOW THERE

ARE EVEN

MORE WAYS TO

show

your

support

H

I

M

J

L

K

N

O

P

A - FOOTBALL SHIRT £25.00

B - CYCLING HELMET £35.00

C - BIKE RIDE GIFT KIT £9.99

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

(SOLD SEPARATELY)

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)

25

25


Heroesreview

#

MUSIC FOR heroes

Service of thanksgiving

£1,020

raised

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

26

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

to shame.

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

from view.

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.

www.helpforheroes.org.uk

27

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