We were delighted to hear that ten of our beneficiaries will be participating in the Paralympics, eight competing and two presenting.
For those of us who have known Joe, JJ, Arthur, Mikey, Jon-Allan, Mickey, Phil, Dave, Nick and Jo since the early days of their recovery, this is a hugely proud moment. This is a moment that all the staff and supporters of Team H4H can share as you have all been a part of their journey; without you they would not be off to Rio. We will be watching their progress and willing them on to their personal best. Some may get medals but that’s not the point, it’s about being back in the game and it’s wonderful.
Those ten will be in the spotlight, they will become household names and rightly so. What they have achieved is remarkable, extraordinary and worthy of our admiration; they deserve it, they are our heroes.
But don’t let us forget or underestimate our unsung heroes, those who face their own challenges, those who have no dream of Paralympic glory, those who find it hard to get through each day. Let us think about those whose days are filled with sorrow and their nights with silent screams, those whose personal best is still a very long way down the road.
There is hope and there are dreams yet to be fulfilled. I remember Arthur when he was first broken but beginning to fight back. I remember Jon-Allan when he lacked the confidence to ride a bike, I remember Iron Man Joe when he was looking for a future, I remember them all and now I can hardly believe what they have achieved. I am so proud of them and all those who have given them the help and support they needed to get back into the game and I am proud of all the others who will accept their own challenges and fight back with your help.
None of us knows what our futures hold but we can remember Churchill when he said;
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Help for Heroes is supported by ordinary people who just want to do their bit to support those who have done theirs. It is very simple and it makes a difference; never doubt that.
Your support has helped Arthur and JJ become television presenters and it has helped others become Paralympians or Invictus Games competitors but it has not stopped there. It has helped others get jobs, build homes, walk, swim, surf paint, write, sing, bake, get married, have children, find love, and to find the confidence to live again. You have been a part of something absolutely extraordinary and we have done it together; be very proud.
So, be very proud when you watch the Paralympics, cheer our heroes on and then get back out there with your own efforts to raise funds and to support the thousands of others who still dream of being back in the game.
With your help they will, together, we will help them rebuild their lives.
Onwards and upwards