News / BoB BoS North Updates (4)
Tuesday 20 June 2017

BoB BoS North Updates

Posted by: Help For Heroes

Northern Ireland | Alex's Update

The month kicked off with a visit from Martin Colclough and Anna Boggi from the H4H Sports Recovery Team. They were looking at the current sporting provision in Northern Ireland for wounded, injured and sick serving personnel and Veterans, and discussing the possibility of future sporting activities.

On 1 June, we met with five BoBs - all of whom have been involved with the H4H Sports Team. It was incredibly interesting and useful to hear their views and ideas for sports within the province. Following this, we met with the PRU staff from 38 (Irish) Brigade. We explored the possibility of future collaboration with those WIS who may be medically discharged from service.

On 2 June, the Sports Team met with external, local, sporting providers. This included Disability Sports NI and Ulster University among others. The conversations were very positive and I am confident (and excited) that sporting provision is on its way for Northern Ireland - watch this space!

On 5 June, I visited Mossley Mill in Newtownabbey to meet with Mayor, John Scott. John had kindly selected Help for Heroes as one of his ‘Charities of the Year’ in 2016/17. He presented us with an impressive cheque which will make such a difference and improve the support the Charity can provide in assisting our beneficiaries on their recovery journeys.

The last two weeks of June were just as busy as the first. It was such a pleasure to get a visit from Dreda Dowd, our Support Hub Key Worker based at Phoenix House. During her visit she helped out at the Band of Sisters ‘Appreciation and Awareness’ event. The evening was very informative, with a presentation from Carers Northern Ireland, which offered practical advice and suggested types of emotional support for our carers. Our guests of honour were also treated to a little pampering and a nice goodie bag to take home.

The Fellowship Photography Project participated in two meetings this month. Another helpful theory session took place in the photography studio and some of the members visited Nutts Corner Race Track to photograph their fellow BoBs, the Mission Motorsport NI crew, who were speeding around the track. It was a cracking day for all.

The Flashback Club also had a lovely venture at Gosford Forest Park. Despite some tricky weather conditions, the guys enjoyed each other’s company and their beautiful surroundings.

On 30 June, six BoBs were graciously hosted by a fellow BoB at ‘Shooting Showdown’ – a rifle shooting activity with the Ulster Rifle Shooting Association. It was a fantastic, and of course very competitive, evening. Looking forward to holding a similar event again soon.

For those that supported the H4H stall, or popped down for the day - I hope you all had a great Armed Forces Day in Bangor!

Scotland | Gerry's update

Hello to all BoB and BoS in Scotland! Here’s what’s been happening this month in the region:

Meet and Greets                                                                                                                                                      

The meet and greet get-togethers are up and running now in a number of areas so that you can meet up over a coffee and a cake to have a chat, make new friends and get support.

In the last month there have been Meet and Greets in Forres, Kirkcaldy, Glasgow and Prestwick and Falkirk with everyone who attended having a lovely time. Prestwick and Falkirk in particular drew a big crowd – luckily Jock Kelso from the Support Hub at Phoenix House was up to lend a hand in Prestwick.

Band of Sisters Chocolate Making Workshop in Livingston

On Wednesday 14 June, a group of lovely BoS met up for this special afternoon to let their creativity and imagination run wild. Some beautiful chocolates were made with plenty of tasting along the way (for quality control of course!) not to mention lots of laughter and relaxation. Some chocolates did manage to escape and be packaged up in some extremely pretty gift bags to take home (not sure how many got shared though). 

Future Events to Save the Date

  • Saturday 15 July Family Clan Games – Scottish Military Museum, Edinburgh
  • Saturday 12 August Family Clan Games – Prestwick

Plans are well underway for a number of events and activities which will be sent out with the details via email, so please look out for them and if there are any that appeal to you then do get in touch.

I am very excited to be given this opportunity to support everyone and if you have any ideas/suggestions or any questions then do let me know. Also if I can help with anything please do get in touch, and if I can’t help then I will be able to signpost onto someone who will.  

My contact details are:

North East | Harriet's update

We have had so much fun this month, from kite making to the BoS respite weekend.

We kicked off June with our half term kite making here at Phoenix House. First of all we put some wonderful decoration and drawings on our kites, including googly eyes and smiley faces. Once we finished we dashed outside to try and catch some of the stubborn wind - running super, super fast seemed to help them climb a little higher! Our wonderful volunteers had been very busy over the last few months knitting hundreds of wool hats, which went down very well with the kids in the summer sun.

On Wednesday 14 June we had eight people attend our coffee morning here at Phoenix House. Lucy did try and get away with telling people she had made the delicious chocolate cakes, but I think everyone knew that they looked too good to be Lucy’s!  

We also hosted a number external agencies including Richmondshire and Hambleton Carers, information from Family Action, The Bridge Young Carers, Canine Partners who brought along two gorgeous puppies in training and H4H. They all came together to provide you information about their services and entitlements available for people in a carer’s role and supporting our loved ones. It was a really great evening and enjoyed by all.

On Friday 24 June we had 9 wonderful Band of Sisters attend our summer respite weekend. We kicked off the Friday with and some ice breakers to get to know one another which turned into some real entertainment. On the Saturday we enjoyed a lovely late breakfast followed by Chris from the Clervaux Trust teaching us some different techniques with wool; knitting is definitely coming back into fashion, it was really informative and great fun. After lunch we put our culinary skills to the test and baked and designed and very own cakes. After our Masterchef impersonations, the ladies got to relax with some luxurious massage therapy. We enjoyed a lovely BBQ on the Saturday evening and a chocolate fountain. We finished the weekend with a session from Wendy Alexandre which gave the ladies something to take away with them.

To finish off the month we attempted some Pirate golf in Hull but with the Great British weather turning against us we turned our skills to the driving range in the dry. After my golf ball turning against us and almost knocking one or two people out we managed to hit the majority of them with success and passed the 5 meter mark. I think this is one sport I can officially say that the lads were better than the lasses.

We will have another BoS respite weekend coming up on Friday 13 October so keep an eye out on your emails or get in touch today and put your name down.

North West | Kevin's update

It’s been a great month seeing so many new faces at events and gatherings. Numbers at events are starting to pick up. The conversations are rich in content and there’s been a few belly laughs so far.

Fellowship is so important, meeting new people regularly lowers the anxiety of going to new events as you see a friendly face and you know the military banter starts flowing from the first minute you arrive.

What we been up to so far in the NW in June

  • x2 Park Life Ticket Winners
  • Team Endeavour speed boat rides in Liverpool and Wales
  • Family Bushcraft Day
  • Afternoon Tea in Cumbria

Busy month with support issues due to the nature of events in Manchester and general queries.

Miles of smiles so far this month

What’s happening in July?

While I am still planning events in July I am looking to access new locations and new venues and also due to webinar questions looking at putting evening or weekend events on.

  • Family fun day at Chill factor (Weekend event)
  • Manchester gathering at Man City (4 July 1pm – 3pm)
  • Cumbria Gathering (evening)
  • Liverpool gathering (weekend)
  • Possible go-karting in Manchester
  • Possible Bushcraft

It’s been a busy month and the webinar questions have really opened up some great ideas that I am exploring. My goal and vision is to try reach out and see as many of the fellowship as possible over the next six to twelve months.

Every month we are ramping up the events as I personally want the North West BoB/BoS fellowship to be the best in the country with more activities that benefit you all.

Thank you for your support.


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