E.Marine Racing Charity of the Year launch

A cold and cloudy April morning in the heart of Wiltshire at Tedworth House Recovery Centre set the stage for the launch of a very exciting new partnership. E.Marine Powerboat Racing have selected Help for Heroes as their Charity of the Year pledging to raise £25,000 for H4H, a charity very close to brothers Lee and Glyn Norvall’s hearts as their grandfather was in the York and Lancashire Regiment that served in Burma for three and a half years during the second World War.

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Lee, who is the navigator for the team recalled how his grandfather was after coming home from active duty said: “there was no support for him or our family and very little was known about the effects of war. Seeing the great support Help for Heroes provides the military community across the board inspired us to do our bit!” Glyn then went on to say: “we are just 2 guys, we have full time jobs but we grew up around powerboats and wanted to do something a bit different. Hopefully people will see us doing this and want to do their bit too.”

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The 28ft Panther P1 arrived at 10am under a thick black cover causing excitement and intrigue to ripple across the grounds of the Wiltshire based recovery centre. The cover was pulled back just as the sun came out to reveal the Help for Heroes logo proudly emblazoned across the hull. As the only boat in the entire field supporting a charity, E.Marine are certainly creating waves amongst the P1 Racing community with the COO of P1 Powerboat racing, Robert Wicks stating: “in E.Marine, Help for Heroes have found two enormously committed individuals who I have no doubt will compete fiercely all season and generate much needed funds for H4H!”

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Band of Brother Michael Bray will join Lee and Glyn in Gosport in July to enjoy a thrill ride in the Powerboat after entering and winning a ‘name the boat’ competition. Amid the excitement of sitting in the driving seat Michael said that he came up with name “Inspiration” as he believes it fully captures what Help for Heroes is to the injured servicemen and women, commenting “As a serving member of the armed forces I have seen the fantastic job they (Help for Heroes) do for the service personnel!”

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Inspiration will be at 6 locations across the United Kingdom starting in Scarborough 2 weeks from today where it will be joined by 12 other racing teams in a bid for a podium finish which comes with prize money that Lee and Glyn have pledged to share 50% of with H4H! Robert Wicks said: “This is one of the most significant charity partnerships in the sport and the whole of the P1 are delighted to be involved with Help for Heroes.”

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If you want to go along and support the brothers, they will be in Bournemouth on Sunday the 1st May holding a cake sale in aid of Bake for Heroes at the Noisy Lobster right on the beach. Or if you would like to watch the boys in action all the events are free entry and family friendly across the UK, then you can find the P1 Racing calendar here.

Good luck guys!

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Participants from Plymouth Recovery Centre join in College Bake Off

Catering students from Cornwall College Saltash have hosted a Bake for Heroes event to help raise money for Help for Heroes. Participants from Help for Heroes Plymouth Recovery Centre were each teamed up with a student to bake and decorate a cake around the theme ‘Great Britain’ in a bake off style competition.

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The cakes were judged by catering lecturers at the end and then donated by the college to the Recovery Centre’s bake sale.  Shirley Gray, from Help for Heroes, said: “It has been a really successful day, all the students have been extremely helpful. The hospitality from the college has been excellent and all the guests have really enjoyed it.”

Help for Heroes beneficiary, Lizzie Jones, said: “I feel like I have had a masterclass in icing cakes! Grace, the student I was working with, was brilliant. I have really enjoyed today. 

Student, Josh Burke, said: “It is great to help raise money for Help the Heroes, my Dad is in the Royal Navy so I am aware of the charity. It has been a really fun day, I have enjoyed helping to bake and decorate the cakes and it was nice working as part of a team. “

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Fellow student, Ryan Moon, agreed: “It is nice being able to give advice on baking and decorating the cakes. Today has been for a great cause. I enjoy it when we have events like this and I’m really enjoying my time at college. I am hoping to progress onto Level 3 Professional Cookery here next year.”

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Team Lead for Catering at Cornwall College, Chris Penk, said: “It is fantastic to see how well the students work together. This has been a great opportunity for our students to develop their planning, preparation and execution of an event as well as their customer service skills. These are skills students would require for level 3. It was great to see the students undertake the day with such enthusiasm and to help raise money for such a worthwhile cause.”

For more information on the range of Hospitality and Professional Cookery courses available across The Cornwall College Group click here or call 0845 22 32 567. 

Veterans create limited edition pasty

Two members of Help for Heroes Band of Brothers – Brian and Dave – worked with the Ginsters Chefs to create a new limited edition pasty to raise funds for their fellow wounded.

HFH PastyChoosing a classic combination of succulent British roast beef and horseradish sauce, Brian and Dave specifically chose flavours which reminded them of home and the favourite foods they missed while serving overseas

Brian, who hails from Plymouth, served for 23 years in the Royal Marines with tours in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Norway, as well as travelling the world on board a warship. However, things started to deteriorate as years of service led to physical injuries (including partial deafness from an explosion in Northern Ireland) and psychological demons creeping in, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Eventually Brian reached a point in his life where he was ready for the end: “I just wanted to switch the light off.”  It was at this stage that a friend encouraged him to take the brave step of visiting Help for Heroes’ Recovery Centre in Plymouth. Since then Brian has taken on the Plymouth to London Hero Ride in 2015 (sponsored by Ginsters) where he found himself helping fellow riders along the way: “I find being able to help others makes me forget what my problems are.”

Encouraged by this experience, Brian went on a trip to the Ginsters of Cornwall bakery to help create a new pasty to go on sale in aid of Help for Heroes: “It was one hell of an experience. Ginsters is doing a phenomenal job. Their support is going to help, and change someone else’s life, just like mine has been.”

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Dave (left) and Brian at Ginsters

Jo Hartop, Head of Corporate Communications for Ginsters said “We have been working with Help for Heroes for the past two years through our support for the Hero Bike Ride.  We are delighted to build on our existing partnership with them by launching the Limited Edition pasty.  Brian and Dave were an absolute delight to work with and the whole Ginsters Team really enjoyed the time spent with them developing this special pasty.”

The pasty will be available in stores from the 4 May for a limited time period and 10p will be donated to the Charity for every pasty sold.

Blood, Sweat & Gears are coming to Knysna

Members of the public are invited to welcome a team of injured British combat veterans and their English and South African support riders when they cycle into Knysna from Cape Town this weekend.

The ‘Blood, Sweat and Gears’ tour, which got underway in Franschhoek on Monday, 25 April, is planning to raise £250,000 to support the psychological wellbeing programmes provided at Phoenix House, the Help For Heroes Recovery Centre at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire in England.

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The tour was suggested by Mark Stephenson, CEO of PWS Distributors (a kitchen component supplier), and is supported by South African Tourism, South African Airways, Chris Willemse Cycles, and various British and international businesses.

The team of 21 riders includes four veterans: John Knott, a recumbent cyclist who served in the RAF but was discharged when he developed Multiple Sclerosis; Stuart Redmond, who served in Kosovo, Iraq and Kuwait, and was discharged after losing sight in one eye in a workshop accident; Stephen Docherty, a veteran of Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Belize and Afghanistan who was shot through both legs in 2008, and who has now developed epilepsy; and Sean Donlan, a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq who suffered severe brain injury following an explosion caused by a rocket-propelled grenade.

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Their supporters include people like England rugby great Will Greenwood to train for and ride the tour. Three South Africans are also riding with them: Morné du Plessis, Cape Town Architect Rick Brown, and Knysna-based communication strategist Deon Coetzee.

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Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde said that Wesgro - the province’s destination marketing and investment organisation - is working with cyclists and local authorities to link Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay (30 km east of Knysna) via the off-road Cross Cape Cycle Path, which is currently in development.

“We’re actively looking to attract all kinds of riders to the Western Cape - mountain bikers, roadies, and recreational riders - so it’s really great when tours like Blood, Sweat and Gears take place here. They’re exactly what we want to see happening throughout the year,” he said.

Greg Vogt, CEO of Knysna’s destination and marketing organisation, Knysna & Partners, said that Knysna - which bills itself as #TrailTownSA - shares the Province’s vision for the cycle economy: ‘To be the most cycle-friendly destination in Africa.’

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the Blood, Sweat and Gears riders on Saturday - and to thanking them for choosing Knysna,” he said. 

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Debenhams fundraising total marches on!

Debenhams has announced that its 2016 March month of support raised over £148k to support our Heroes.

The campaign included a National Collection Weekend on the 12/13th March which saw over 350 H4H Volunteers team up with Debenhams staff to run collections at 125 stores nationwide.

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Staff showed their support again and joined in the fun by organising a range of fundraising events over the month. This year Debenhams customers also enjoyed nearly 6,000 Heroes Breakfasts in a new promotion in Debenhams restaurants!

Debenhams specially designed, limited edition range of men's t-shirts is still available online, priced at £20 each with all profits going to H4H.

H4H Stacked Truck Tee £20 - Copy  H4H Warplane Meerkat Tee £20  H4H Below Trenches Tee £20    H4H Firing Trenches Tee £20

This year's fundraising followed hugely successful campaigns in 2014 and 2015 as part of a long-term partnership with the Charity.