Elliot Wearne-Gould, 17, a year 12 student at Saltash Community School, and Grace Nash, 15, a year 10 student at Richard Lander School in Truro, have been experiencing life at Help for Heroes’ Plymouth Recovery Centre at Devonport Naval Base.
The Recovery Centre is the South West hub for the charity, which supports wounded, injured and sick veteran and serving military personnel and their families.
The students lent a helping hand in the support hub, assisted in the Centre’s gym and hydrotherapy pool, and took a trip to Falmouth to see first-hand what forces sailing charity Turn to Starboard, which receives grant funding from Help for Heroes, is all about.
Elliot and Grace also spent time in the charity’s Hero Garden within the Naval Base, which offers therapy through gardening. The Recovery Centre hosts a weekly ‘Veterans’ Friday’ activity day where the students had the opportunity to sample the activities on offer including table tennis and wheelchair rugby.
Grace, who hopes to have a medicine-related career, said: “It’s been absolutely amazing to do work experience at Help for Heroes. They offer such a variety of things to help people. I didn’t want to leave. There are so many things to do and so many people to talk to; you can’t compare one to the other. I’d definitely love to go back and help if they’ll have me!”
Elliot, whose ambition is to become a pilot, said: “Hearing the veterans’ stories really touched my heart. It’s been a great experience seeing what the charity does and also being inside the Naval Base as it seems so closed off from the outside. My experience has motivated me so much more to go out and volunteer. I now know there are some great causes out there that need the support of people like me.”