I’ll never forget when a veteran’s daughter said to me ‘thank you for giving me my daddy back’. It made me so proud to be part of the fantastic work Help for Heroes delivers.
Wanting to “give back” to our wounded, Amy Haken joined our Sports Recovery Team after completing a masters in sports physiology. “I wanted to use my skills and knowledge to make a real difference to those who have sacrificed so much for us all,” says Amy.
In her role as Sports Officer she helps plan and deliver our National Sports Recovery Programme, and from day one, she has been passionate about her work.
“It's so rewarding to see the positive impact we can make,” explains Amy. “I’ll never forget when a veteran’s daughter said to me ‘thank you for giving me my daddy back’. It made me so proud to be part of the fantastic work Help for Heroes delivers.”
But when lockdown forced our recovery centres to close, Amy and her team were unable to run their normal activities, and Amy was furloughed. She explains:
“During the first lockdown I missed work and struggled with anxiety caused by the pandemic. Taking time for self-care really helped me. I found a home exercise routine which helped reduce my anxiety and process the uncertainty I was facing.”
Today, Amy is excited to be back with her team, who are busy adapting the way Sports Recovery delivers its services.
This is especially important now a second lockdown is in place. At the start of the pandemic,
the number of veterans and service personnel struggling with their mental and physical health rose by 33 per cent and many more may still be suffering in silence. Amy explains:
“Because sport benefits both physical and mental health, we have been busy adapting our services to offer the continued support our wounded need now, more than ever.”
With this in mind, Amy and her team have produced specially tailored online webinars and workout programmes.
And having experienced, first-hand, the benefits of self-care through exercise at home, Amy is keen for others to try our new, online Sports Recovery programme.
“There are three different 12-week home workout programmes - these include yoga, flexibility and mobility and body weight circuits,” she explains. “There may be days you don’t have the motivation, but when I have those days, I find even a little exercise can really help boost your mood.
“I’m excited to be back to work as our Sports Recovery team adapts its services, whilst also looking ahead to the future post-pandemic. We will continue to deliver sports recovery support to those that need it.”
Together, we can keep our promise to be here for wounded veterans and their families.