I can’t believe it is summer already! I do hope everyone else is experiencing lovely warm and dry weather because NI has returned to its usual wet state.
I think this month has flown because it’s been rather busy. I thoroughly enjoyed the three-day staff induction in England where I visited the Tin Hut – the place where Help for Heroes began, the Downton offices and Tedworth House. It is always lovely visiting the main Help for Heroes hubs as you get a chance to meet other staff and see the full effect of H4H support. Whilst visiting, I was able to meet with the founders of the charity, learn lots of useful information and played sitting volleyball (badly!)
Back in NI, I have been keen to raise awareness of Help for Heroes in NI by linking in with other organisations. This month, I delivered presentations to staff at 38X PRU, the Northern Ireland Veteran Support Committee and at a Transition Fair for service leavers. In doing so, Help for Heroes is establishing itself within the networks of support available to serving personnel, veterans and families in Northern Ireland.
A highlight of this month was the Armed Forces Day in Antrim Castle Gardens on Saturday 18 June. Three dedicated volunteers and I coordinated a Help for Heroes stall, where we sold Help for Heroes merchandise and handed out our literature. It was a brilliant day with parades, military bands, military displays and children’s activities. I was astounded at the level of support our stall received; everyone was eager to donate generously and we sold out of most items. Hero Bear even surprised us with a visit! The day was a great success and reinforced how welcoming and kind members of the public are to our charity. I am looking forward to next year already and, if anyone would like to help out in the future, please let me know.
What's coming up in July?
I am excited about events planned over the next few weeks. I am holding a meet-up in Bangor and hosting a visit from other lovely Help for Heroes staff in the first week of July. This will be a great opportunity to catch up about work and introduce the ladies to Belfast. Following this, we have a two-day Equine Guided Leadership Development course taking place in Comber. I have already heard fabulous reviews of this experience so I am sure the BoBs taking part will enjoy it. We are holding a sailing day with Belfast Lough Sailability in late July, where we will test our skills on the open water - I hope I am better at sailing than I am sitting volleyball!
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