Thursday, 5th November 2009

H4H teams are back from Kilimanjaro....

H4H are delighted to report that the two H4H teams are back from Kilimanjaro and apart from sunburn, blistered lips, swollen legs, Tanzanian Tummy, numb toes and any number of other altitude induced ailments, we are all fine!


Bryn said "To have been part of a team to climb Kilimanjaro is a privilege, but to have done the climb in the company of wounded soldiers was an extraordinarily humbling experience.

Craig, Stu, Jon, Tony and John, you are real heroes and I would not have believed it possible if I had not been there to see you tackle the highest freestanding mountain in the world. You took it in your stride and have proved that with the right support and determination, literally anything is possible. I know your climb will be an inspiration and I hope that there will be other wounded Servicemen now at Selly Oak or Headley Court who will have seen what you have done and will now start planning to follow in your footsteps.

It was particularly poignant for Emma and me to realise that Jon and Tony were wounded on the 4 Rifles tour of Iraq in 2007 and they were part of the reason we were moved to ‘do something ’. Two years later, there they are, Jon especially, who was told he would never walk again, climbing a mountain; wonderful.
I have learnt over the last two years that anything is possible and even those with the gravest of injuries will, given time and support, achieve great things. We have seen the limbless ski, the paraplegic fly, the blind climb; we have seen these boys laugh and we have seen them start to dream of their futures once more. Their lives are changed by their injuries but their lives are not over, far from it. Craig plays football, runs marathons, climbs mountains, dreams of winning Gold in 2012 and is enjoying decorating his house. He told me he felt sorry for those who have lost legs as he feels he has it easy being blind.

It was great to spend a week in the company of these ordinary but extraordinary blokes and to hear of their plans but it reinforced the need for the Army Recovery Centres. If only they had been part of the Recovery House programme now planned, their transition would have been so much smoother. We need these houses as fast as we can to ensure that all the wounded get every opportunity to live their lives to the fullest. We are well on the way to achieving that and we have been able to put aside the first £10m toward the programme but we still have a long way to go. Please keep going, you are making a difference, the money is being spent and we urgently need all we can raise to get our blokes on the road to recovery.
Thank you everybody who has supported us up Kili and thank you everyone who is involved in H4H. I feel that we are linked by an invisible cord, all united in doing something really good. Individually, our efforts may seem tiny but when they all join up this is massive. Don’t say to me ‘I’m sorry, its not much’...

It is, every action, every penny, every event, every act of generosity joins up and makes Help for Heroes what it is... a wonderful united force for good... And you are part of it.


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