Help for Heroes month is back – and to support the charity a little differently this year, we’ve got a new, exciting range of Help for Heroes t-shirts to support our wounded.
Designed with our campaign stars and Band of Brother’s team at hand – a fellowship of serving and veteran wounded, injured and sick – we had Dan, Jamie, Mark and Jules help design these pieces (pictured above).
Want to know more about our Help for Heroes men? Take a read of their stories below…
Former LBdr Dan Richards had just returned from deployment in Afghanistan when he was involved in a near fatal motorbike accident, which resulted in the amputation of his right arm and shoulder.
He arrived at Help for Heroes’ Tedworth House Recovery Centre in March 2012 after being medically discharged from the military. At Tedworth House, Dan fully involved himself with the practical support available. He benefited from Numeracy and Literacy ITQ courses, as well as the Charity’s Pathfinder Experience and Career Recovery support, which led him to a job with a chauffeur company that specialises in employing Veterans. Dan has recently discovered a flare for project management and is currently training for a career as a Project Manager after successfully completing his PRINCE2 qualification.
Dan says: “I think Help for Heroes is a God send. It gave me a place to live and focus on my future as opposed to sitting at home. As soon as I rolled through the doors I instantly felt welcome and as if I belonged. Whether you’re serving or a Veteran, the doors at Tedworth House are open and it’s for that reason that a lot of the worry of leaving is more or less taken away.”
Jules joined the RAF Regiment in 1980 and was medically discharged in 2012 in the rank of group captain, having completed 11 operational tours of duty. He has musculoskeletal injuries to his legs and lower spine, as well as PTSD and depression. Jules first got involved with Help for Heroes in 2015, and has helped build a replica Iron Age Round House in the grounds of the Charity’s Tedworth House Recovery Centre. The project has been great at giving time for reflection, a space to be outdoors and the opportunity to be part of a team again.
Jules said: “You don’t have to explain yourself here. It’s difficult at first when you are medically discharged from the military because you are no longer the person you used to be. Joining the Help for Heroes Band of Brothers and taking part in projects like the Round House make me feel more like a whole person again.”
A former soldier in the United Kingdom Special Forces Reserve, Jamie Hull was fulfilling a lifelong ambition of becoming a pilot in 2007. Out on a routine solo flight, his engine suddenly caught fire. With his plane rapidly descending, Jamie freed himself from the cockpit and clambered onto the wing, where he remained until the aircraft was 15 feet from the ground, before jumping to safety.
Jamie sustained 60 per cent third-degree burns to his body, tissue scarring and internal injuries, and was given only a five per cent chance of survival. Undergoing over 50 operations, he was able to pull through but, for Jamie, life as he knew it was over.
“I had lost all belief in myself. Help for Heroes stepped in and provided opportunities that let me challenge myself in a safe, supportive and dignified environment. It was exactly what I needed. Help for Heroes introduced me to new aspects of life… It showed me there is life beyond injury.”
Veteran Mark Taylor saw tours of Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Iraq. In 2005, after a decade of active duty which culminated in a tour of Iraq that saw two men in his Battalion die, Mark attempted to commit suicide and he was diagnosed with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Despite his diagnosis, Mark remained in the Army for the next nine years. He was discharged in 2013 and is now working towards a new career path with the support of Help for Heroes. He recently started his own business, ‘Hero Handyman’, offering DIY services to those who need them.
“For the first time in ten years, Help for Heroes helped me hold my hand up and say ‘I need help’. I’ve the closest relationship with my family that I’ve ever had because the Charity has helped me deal with my PTSD and become a better person from it. That is what drives me to raise awareness and give something back to a fantastic charity that I believe saved my life.”
Working with Debenhams to support the wounded, show your support for the charity by grabbing yourself one of these fun, printed tees.
Shop the Help for Heroes collection.