This month kicked off to a brilliant start with a staff visit to the Belfast office. Dreda, a Support Hub keyworker based at Phoenix House in Catterick, visited on Tuesday 5 July. Dreda works very closely with beneficiaries from NI and was keen to meet with other ex-service welfare charities working in Northern Ireland. Interactions such as these are invaluable as they allow for the Phoenix House team to build on their knowledge and experiences of the NI setting. Ailsa, the volunteer and income manager for NI who is based in Edinburgh, and Yvonne, the volunteer coordinator for NI who is based in Downton, also joined Dreda on the H4H staff visit. Ailsa and Yvonne met up with our existing volunteers and spread the volunteering word in a bid to encourage any others interested in donating their time to Help for Heroes to sign up. I know that the ladies thoroughly enjoyed their time here and they are looking forward to visiting again, on a professional and personal level.
We recently held two BoB/BoS meet-ups, the first took place in late June in Bangor and the second event was in early July in Belfast city centre. I would like to thank all those who attended, a real highlight of this role is meeting and chatting to you and I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to come along and say hello. I really value your enthusiasm and ideas for activities so keep them coming! For those of you that I still have to meet, I am looking forward to it and I hope that future meet-ups and events throughout the province will allow for these introductions.
Fellow BoB Chris was very kind to offer BoB/BoS and families a wonderful experience this month. Chris was captain of the archery team in the 2016 Invictus Games and invited guests to his archery range to have a go. The day was a great success and the experience sparked an interest in this sport for many participants. Due to its popularity, we are arranging another archery event in September- details to follow. Chris welcomes past participants to come along and fine tune their skills and would encourage any newbies to give it a go.
We had two outdoor events in July and thankfully the rain stayed off (for the most part). Three Band of Brothers and I took part in ‘Equine Guided Leadership Development’, a two day course which encompassed leadership models and building a trusting relationship with horses. This was a wonderful experience, intense yet relaxing and it was a joy to work with such strong and powerful animals. Belfast Lough Sailability very kindly hosted us on Friday 22 July and took a BoB and family out sailing on a ‘hawk’. Viewing Carrickfergus Castle on the shoreline and spotting a seal was a lovely way to spend a Friday morning. The Sailability team aim to assist any person at any level with any request. We opted for a laid back, relaxing sailing day but could have requested a training day in a bid to gain a sailing qualification. Sailability is keen to host BoB/BoS and family again and I will certainly take them up on this offer soon.
I am currently prepping for autumn/winter meet-ups and events – including our Christmas shindig – so please keep an eye out for information.
BACK TO BANDSTAND