Staff, Veterans and volunteers from the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Colchester have taken a walk on the wild side, completing their Walking Home for Christmas event around an Essex Wildlife Trust nature reserve.
The walkers were joined by local MP Will Quince, as well as Santa, Hero Bear and Boris the Badger for the family-friendly two hour walk around Fingringhoe Wick, Essex.
This year Help for Heroes have joined forces with Walking With The Wounded to support even more Veterans and their families who may be struggling this Christmas, simply by going for a walk and fundraising.
Ann Scott at Help for Heroes explained why those at the Recovery Centre wanted to get involved:
“This major fundraising drive will help support wounded, injured and sick Veterans who are at risk; some battling unemployment, isolation and struggling with their mental health. At Christmas these challenges can often be compounded. We wanted to get involved to raise much needed funds but more importantly bring Veterans and their families together at a fun event”.
The walk also brought the wider community together. Tyler St-George didn’t just take part in the two hour hike but walked from his home 20 miles away to get to the fundraising event. The 22 year old from Clacton-on-Sea, who suffers from autism and ADHD, was determined to raise money for his heroes. 12 year old Mark Cole from Witham saw an article in his local paper about the event and begged his mum, Tracy to take him. She reports that he didn’t want to see Santa, Hero Bear or Boris the Badger but wanted to shake the hand of a war Veteran. He was delighted to meet Colin Branch who showed him his newly decorated prosthetic leg. Mark has so far raised an impressive £200.
Will Quince, who joined the walk, said: “Not only is Help for Heroes a fantastic charity that works across the UK but we’re so lucky to have a Recovery Centre in Colchester. It was a great opportunity to talk with staff and Veterans from Chavasse VC House, but also to thank the volunteers for the amazing fundraising that they do”.
Walking with the Wounded and Help for Heroes will split all funds raised from this year’s campaign to pay for vital support for Veterans at risk.