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Help for Heroes 4x4 European Rally

They have done it!! All 45 teams of the Help for Heroes 4x4 European Rally have completed their 'Final Mission', and made it to the 'impenatrable' Eagle's Nest in Bavaria. Throughout their journey they have followed in the footsteps of the Allied forces who set about liberating Europe in 1944, paid their respects to those who paid the ultimate price on the Western Front in World War One, and also tested their vehicles to the limit with many off-road challenges.

Keith Bowen and his son, Tim Price-Bowen, have been dedicated to the 4x4 rally for the last 5 years, and without their astounding hard work and unwavering support the rally wouldn't have raised an overwhelming £1,000,000 for Help for Heroes. Back in 2010 their aim was to take 20 cars through Europe and raise £20,000 for Help for Heroes. However, five years later, and with their sixth rally complete, they have taken a total of 275 teams on a historical tour and raised 50x their original target.

Keith And Tim

While each rally has followed a similar path, the stories have all been unique. The 'Final Mission' is no exception to this, and it will have created timeless memories for all involved. This includes the Help for Heroes Band of Brother team. Brendan Prudom and Curtis Pugh set off from Littlecote House in Berkshire on Saturday 13th June like two excited children on Christmas eve, with a 2000 mile adventure stretched out in front of them. After both having their military careers cut short due to injury, they relished the challenge of taking their Discovery 4 (which was kindly loaned to them by Jaguar Land Rover) through 7 different European countries, and paying their respects to those who fell in the fight for freedom all those years ago.

Brendan And Curtis

Alongside the Band of Brother crew was 44 other teams, all who have spent months fundraising towards the rally's staggering total. Every member of every team has shown such unbelievable support to Help for Heroes, and they will all have a profound impact on the support that Help for Heroes can give to our wounded, injured and sick. While all the teams, from every year, will have made memories that will last a them a lifetime on the rally, they have also made such a valuable contribution to the lives of our Servicemen, women and veterans.

 The ' Final Mission' of the Help for Heroes 4x4 European Rally may be complete, and their wheels may have stopped turning, but the contribution that Keith, Tim and all those that have followed them across Europe (and through the decades) have made to so many lives, and the memories and friendships they have personally made, will be cherished for many years to come.

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Green woodworking demonstration at Bolton Castle

The Wood Workshop

Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June 2015

Bolton Castle, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 4ET

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To celebrate Armed Forces Weekend, when the public can show support for the men and women who make up our Armed Forces, visitors will have the chance to watch experienced woodworker and Help for Heroes volunteer, Chris Morgan demonstrating basic greenwood working processes using a pole lathe to produce a set of stool/chair legs. This will include using a shave horse and traditional tools. 

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Chris runs the Wood Workshop at the Help for Heroes Phoenix House Recovery Centre as part of a recovery programme for Servicemen and women.  This will be a hands-on demonstration and visitors aged 8 or over will be able to have a go. There will also be wood craft items on display and for sale.

On Sunday 28th June he will be joined by Chris Helliwell, who will demonstrate the process of preparing logs to turn bowls and again he will offer visitors the chance to have a go.

 

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Luke Cameron has the "Nicest Job in Britain". Last week he met H4H and then conquered Hero Ride!

Last week, as Hero Ride truly gained momentum across the country, Luke Cameron paid the Help for Heroes family a visit. Luke's life revolves around helping out a different charity every week, earning him the title of having the Nicest Job in Britain.

Not only did Luke meet the H4H team - from Downton to the Tin Hut - but he took on Hero Ride West 100, and what an effort he put in! Luke dug deep and finished Hero Ride to meet up with the rest of the riders in Windsor. Below is an excerpt from his blog, and a link you can use to read the entire thing.

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"If I am honest I think the icing on the cake was my hour spent making 'good luck' phone calls to people who were holding events. One in particular will always stay with me.

"I phone a guy called James; he was holding a raffle at a wedding. As I wished him luck and a nice time he told me it was his wedding to his long-term girlfriend. He has just come back from serving 2 years in Afghanistan and finally got the chance to get down on one knee. I of course congratulated him and as I did, he burst into tears. So touched by a simple call from the charity to say hello and congratulations he broke down on the phone. This was his icing on a lovely wedding cake."

 READ LUKE CAMERON'S HERO RIDE BLOG POST HERE

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Help for Heroes 4x4 European Rally

Plaque

Over the last 9 days, two Help for Heroes Band of Brothers have been travelling across 7 European countries, with 45 other teams, taking part in the Help for Heroes 4x4 European Rally 'Final Mission'. During these 9 days they have visited many sights of the Allied Invasion of France in 1944, the WWI Western Front and spent a night in the company of the BBBR riders. On the night of Monday 15th June, Brendan Prudom and Curtis Pugh, alongside the rally organisers, spent time meeting all the riders who had departed from Paris that same day for the start of the Big Battlefield Bike Ride, and waved them off the following morning as they continued to cycle west along the Normandy Coast. 

BBBR

Brendan and Curtis, and all members of the rally crews, have visited many historic sights during their trip, including attending the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, and have visited many places that are not open to the public. On day 4 of their trip all the teams visited the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Headquarters where all the headstones for the fallen Allied soldiers are carved and restored, giving those who paid the ultimate price the resting place they so fully deserve. During the visit the rally organisers, Keith Bowen and his son Tim Price-Bowen, were presented with a plaque carved from the very same stone as the headstones to celebrate raising £1million for Help for Heroes.

The rally hasnt just solely been about historical visits, museums and ceremonies, the guys have also had the opportunity to take their Discovery 4 (which was kindly donated by Jaguar Land Rover for the duration of their trip) off roading!! The 'Disco' may have been in the wars slightly (expensive wing mirrors Vs a tree caused the guys a slight moment of worry) but all told it has been a luxurious and noble steed. However, this isn't the only vehicle Brendan and Curtis have got their hands on during their trip; during a visit to Bastogne Barracks they were given the opportunity to man something slightly larger. As a special treat for our Band of Brothers the Barracks took the guys for a spin in a Leopard Recovery Vehicle.

Off Road

Brendan and Curtis still have 4 days of their journey to go, and still have many historic and iconic sights to visit on their way towards the Eagles Nest in Bavaria. During their trip they have completed daily video blogs to tell the story of their trip in their own words, and these can be followed on their official 'Team Tank' facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/H4HTeamTank?fref=ts

 To donate towards Brendan and Curtis' fundraising visit their bmycharity page: https://www.bmycharity.com/BrendanPrudomCurtisPugh

 

Hero Ride 2015: the Grand Finale

Over 1,000 cyclists gathered in Windsor today for Heroes Sunday, the ‘Hero Ride’ Grand Finale which is a celebration of fundraising rides generating crucial funds for the UK’s sick and injured servicemen and women.  

Led by a cohort of 100 injured servicemen and women, who have riden for their comrades who can’t, We asked the great British public to ‘Back the 100’ by sponsoring them.

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Hero Ride 2015, partnered by Ginsters of Cornwall, has seen the 100 ‘wounded’ riders collectively cover 18,000 miles from 14-21 June in aid of H4H, accompanied by 1,000 fundraisers. The rides started from the Help for Heroes Recovery Centres, as well as further afield from France and Scotland, before reaching the Grand Finale.

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As the cyclists culminated in Windsor after their heroic efforts, they were saluted outside Windsor Castle by General the Lord Dannatt, who has today issued a stark warning to the nation about the importance of continued support for sick and injured UK Armed Forces.

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For many of those who serve our country, their personal battles may only just be beginning. Bryn Parry, Co-Founder of Help for Heroes, said: “Hero Ride has seen cyclists from all over the country make their way to Windsor, culminating in one of the biggest national demonstration of support for our wounded heroes.

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“Soldiers, sailors and airmen who are injured today will still need our support tomorrow and in the days that follow, for the rest of their lives. I encourage you to join us backing the 100 and sponsoring them.”

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The funds raised by Hero Ride 2015 will help the Charity continue to deliver direct support to Service Personnel and Veterans who have suffered life-changing injuries and illnesses.

This year Ginsters of Cornwall has joined forces with Help for Heroes to develop a new charity partnership. Ginsters is the headline sponsor for the charity's flagship event Hero Ride 2015.

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Ginsters has a long and proud history of supporting charities which are close to the hearts of its employees and consumers. The company encourages internal teams to take part in fundraising events for each of its charities particularly in the local community.

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