Help for Heroes supporting Combined Services Disabled Ski Team for adaptive skiing

Pete Dunning

Pete's Story

Pete was serving with the Royal Marines Armoured Support Company on OP HERRICK 8, supporting 2 Para. On the 25th May 2008 he had just finished his last mission and was returning to Camp Bastion. Just as he was about to cross the Helmand River the armoured vehicle he was travelling in struck an IED. The driver died instantly and Pete lost both of his legs, fractured his spine and received burns to his arms and legs, among other injuries.

During his rehabilitation, Pete found out about the Help for Heroes funded Battle Back and the great work they do. The programme has enabled him to try out several new sports, including scuba diving and water skiing, but Pete found his passion when he did a two weeks introduction camp to adaptive skiing. From those two weeks in March 2009, he furthered his skills by doing a season with the Combined Service’s Disabled Ski Team (CSDST). Since that first season, Pete’s skiing has gone from strength to strength.

Reaching new heights

Help for Heroes helped fund a trip to Canada with Battle Back which Pete joined, enabling him to experience the 2010 Winter Paralympics. Whilst in Canada, he was given the chance of a lifetime to carry the Paralympic flame in the 24 hour torch relay, prior to the opening ceremony. Pete made the trip extra special by proposing to his girlfriend in Vancouver.

Through the Quick Reaction Fund, Help for Heroes has been able to help with Pete’s travel costs, accommodation, race faces and lift passes and also with the purchasing of new skis. He says: “I am extremely grateful for the money from the Quick Reaction Fund as this has helped calm my nerves so I’m not worrying about if I will have enough money for my training, leaving me with the opportunity to focus on winning races. The grants have assisted to climb further up the world rankings! My ultimate goal is to make the squad for the 2014 Winter Paralympics.

“I can’t thank the Help for Heroes Quick Reaction Fund enough for their support in helping me and my dream of representing Great Britain at the Paralympic Winter Games in 2014.”