This morning, two Senior Rates from the Royal Navy and a Veteran of 27 years Naval Service set off on a 180-mile walking challenge from Twickenham Stadium to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff in time for kick off for this year’s RBS Six Nations fixture between Wales and England on 11 February 2017.
Chief Petty Officers Andy ‘Gibbo’ Gibbs & Philip ‘Knocker’ White, both serving at HMS Collingwood and Mr James ‘JC’ Cameron-Wood a member of Black Rods staff at the House of Lords, are carrying the Gilbert match ball along the way and delivering it by hand to the stadium officials.
Seven years ago, the team of loyal Help for Heroes supporters under the name ‘Doing it for Heroes’ set off on a journey of extraordinary dedication to simply do their bit, and today have collectively raised £488,000 to help rebuild the lives of our wounded, injured or sick Service Personnel. Seeing how the money is used to rebuild lives following a visit to a Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, Tedworth House in Wiltshire, the team was further committed to the cause.
Lead by Chief Petty Officer Gibbo (from Oxfordshire), this will be the fourth time he has taken the route on and will be assisted along the way by Georgina Crumpton and Penny Harris. He was inspired to support Help for Heroes following an eight month deployment of the Middle and Far East in 2008 having seen first-hand just how vital the support following service is. The first challenge was a walk from Glasgow to Edinburgh carrying a stretcher, which raised £14,000 and hasn’t stopped since. In 2010, Doing it for Heroes was officially born and is supported generously by sponsors which have included Heineken UK, Crabbies, Essex Auto Group and Gilbert Rugby.
Team Doing it for Heroes are now within touching distance of hitting the milestone figure of £500,000 fundraising for charity.
The route will be broken down over seven days covering 180 miles. Starting from Twickenham on 3 February heading to Reading, west through Hungerford, Cirencester, Gloucester, Monmouth and Newport. The final leg into Cardiff will see the team arrive at the stadium at 1100 when Wales run out for the Captains Run on 10 February.
Chief Petty Officer Andrew Gibbs said: “I started this journey in 2008 forming our brand with our co-founder Georgina Crumpton in 2011 prior to walking Wembley to Cardiff. What we do is about seeing the amazing effect the money we raise has on those who need it, and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this fine country.
We have a great team who are dedicated to raising money for H4H come rain, snow and sunshine. It's all about building a better life for those that give so much, and we couldn't have achieved this without the support of our brand sponsors.”
Mel Waters, CEO of Help for Heroes said: “This year team DIFH will reach a staggering £500k fundraising in support of our wounded, injured or sick. The dedication they have shown to support our Armed Forces over the years is inspirational and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to this landmark achievement. Any donation or fundraiser, little or large, makes a real difference and we’re incredibly grateful for your loyalty helping to rebuild lives.”
Last year Gibbo and team DIFH were honoured with a Points of Light award from former Prime Minister, David Cameron and has been recognised with a Hero Award by Help for Heroes.
Follow their progress:
Donating is easy – just visit www.justgiving.com/DIFH or Text to Donate: DIFH50 £5 to 70070
Big or small, every donation makes a difference to our wounded Servicemen and women and their loved ones.