Help for Heroes - Monthly Updates

Discussion in 'Charities and Welfare' started by Help4Heroes_London, Aug 2, 2009.

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  1. A 'small bite' update about our fund-raising efforts to date, forthcoming projects and what Help for Heroes supporters are getting up to this summer.


    I'm thrilled to announce that our total now stands at nearly £26 million – most of that made up of very small donations – amazing how those 50ps mount up! Every penny of that (and as many more pennies as we're able to raise) is needed to deliver the Recovery Centres for the Pathfinder Project - CLICK HERE for more information.

    Get Involved

    As well as running your own events, if you'd like to get involved there are lots of opportunities to volunteer in your region and become a trusted helper to the Group and County Coordinators or even become one yourself. Although we've had amazing support and contributions to date, we cannot rest on our laurels and to that end, we need to advertise our brand far and wide, so part of our role as Coordinators is to run merchandise and information stands. The more people we can make aware of Help for Heroes the better for fund-raising and therefore, more help and opportunities for the lads and lasses who need it.

    Click HERE for information about how to register and run an event.

    Click HERE for information about how to volunteer in your region.

    Click HERE to see the masses of H4H merchandise in the shop. It is HELP FOR HEROES TRADING LTD that makes Help for Heroes 106% efficient, which means that EVERY PENNY RAISED BY THE CHARITY GOES TO THE LADS AND LASSES WHO NEED IT.

    News from July

    Sandringham Flower Show

    Norfolk’s Chief Constable presented the first special H4H badge for police officers to Prince Charles at the Sandringham Flower Show recently. It will then be rolled out to all police forces in England and Wales, who employ more than 140,000 police officers and civilian staff. Great publicity for us!

    For those of you who are horticulturally minded, a sweet pea mixture cultivated in Norfolk was also launched at the Flower Show. It’s a blend of red and two shades of blue and will enable gardeners to grow their own tribute to our service personnel, with £1 from the sale of every pack going to H4H. CLICK HERE to purchase the seeds.

    Upcoming Events

    Royal Navy vs The Army Cricket Match at Lord's Cricket Ground Thursday 6th August 2009.

    Roar on the Shore will follow a firework display launched from a barge between Bournemouth and Boscombe Piers at 9.30pm on Thursday 20th August.

    To find out about the many events planned for the coming months in your location, CLICK HERE.
  2. September Newsletter:

    On the 17th August Emma and I were delighted to be able to go to Edinburgh and be at the opening of the first Army Recovery Centre. This project, a joint venture between H4H, the Army and Erskine, is the first of its kind and a great step forward for the recovery of our wounded men and women. Named the Mark Wright House after Cpl Mark Wright GC, PARA who died saving his patrol in a minefield near Kajaki in Helmand, it is a house named for a hero and will help other heroes. It is a fitting tribute to Mark, and his parents, Bob and Jem, were there to help with the ceremony. Our thanks go to everyone in the Army, MOD and Erskine who has made this such a success. We are now looking forward to opening further houses and we are in a race to get them built as soon as we can.

    The H4H Rehabilitation Complex at Headley Court is coming on very well indeed and the steel framework is up and it is looking wonderful, we can’t wait to see that pool ready to swim in! There is no slacking off the pace at H4H and we have over 8000 events registered as people respond to the call to do your bit for the wounded. Well done everyone, you are doing a simply fantastic job and keep it up, we need that money!

    Yesterday, Emma went to the printers at Frome to see the first pages of Gill Shaw’s superb book The Hero Inside come off the presses and came home full of admiration and enthusiasm. This book, the work of celebrity photographer and Rifleman’s Mum Gill Shaw and published by Andrew Johnston of Quiller Press, is quite simply a masterpiece and will be the book on everyone’s Christmas list this year. It launches on 17th September and the printers said they found it hard to concentrate as they kept wanting to read it as it went though the presses.... That’s a recommendation.

    Our new website was launched last weekend. It has been a real labour of love for Ben and his team so we hope you will think it is worth all the hours of burning the midnight oil. Once that is up, we will be turning to the shop pages to make them even better.. Not to forget that you can now follow H4H on no rest for the IT team!

    Thanks to everyone who has sponsored Team Parry for the Kilimanjaro climb in October. We are determined to do our best to get to the top and to raise as much as we can for our heroes so if you haven’t already sponsored us, please bung us a few quid on our Team Parry bmycharity page.. Thanks!

    Finally, I have started to include some words from ‘Our man in Helmand’ in these newsletters. He is one of many thousands serving over there on our behalf but he speaks for them all. He is unable to send an email this month but he got through to his family by satellite phone and this extract from his Dad’s email sums it up.

    “He is currently in a small patrol base up on a hill, overlooking a few compounds and with views into a wadi. The base is very basic, four mud walls with a mast that has some sophisticated camera kit and a ISO (?) container from where they can see what the cameras cover. They oversee the local area from the four sangars (think castle turrets) and hope to build up a pattern of life and to prevent the enemy from moving along the wadi. They sleep on the ground and their kit fits into their back pack. While we talked there were a couple of bangs which he explained were ‘our’ mortars firing flares to illuminate the area in response to seeing some activity and later, he said had to go as one of his guns ‘was giving someone a warning’. Under the rules of engagement, if they see suspicious activity, such as someone digging in the wadi (likely to be the enemy planting an IED... mine), they can fire a warning shot.

    The conditions are very basic, no helicopters so no mail, no fresh water, no fresh food. They lack knives and forks and cut plastic bottles in half to make cups. They can spare no water to shave so all have straggly beards, no loo paper and no showers, so they put up with the pong. They do have some flour so the soldiers are improvising and he says he had ‘pancakes’ this morning, cooked by a couple of the Fijians.

    I have mentioned before that he has had 1 killed and 7 wounded in his platoon but he has been at many more incidents including one when “Yesterday the camp was attacked by RPG. It sailed straight into the Mortar’s accommodation and we had 9 casualties. I helped casevac one by stretcher into the cooking area. Claret covered the floor as wounds were bandaged and ears were held together by team medics. Dazed Riflemen stared blankly, unhearing due to burst ear drums.”. An incident like that never makes the news but he has been a part of it.

    As parents we are so aware that our conversations over the sat phone are stilted, we are normally cut off at least twice and we have no idea when he may ring, sometimes once a week, sometimes a longer gap. When he does ring, we don’t know what he has just been through and sometimes it is after he has been involved in an incident, several times it has been when he has had blokes wounded or been in some sort of contact. We have no warning, the phone just rings, during supper, at work, while we are walking the dogs, and suddenly we are having a conversation with our son who has had to save someone’s life or is just needing a chat. Tonight was great, the line was clear, it only cut off twice and I could hear most of what he said. My daughter came home as we were talking and I handed over to hear them banter away in a way that I couldn’t hope to do. I would imagine that the few minutes of family slanging works better than any conversation with a concerned Dad!”

    Thanks everyone, for all your support and the efforts you have made to support our blokes. We at H4H are thinking of you, especially those who are serving over there and their loved ones who are back here, worried. We are all linked and focused on the desire to do something to help.. And we are, .. So keep going, keep fundraising, keep smiling and keep showing the blokes, the men and women of our Armed Forces, that you care.

    Thank you
  3. October Newsletter:

    Dear H4H Supporter,

    I am incredibly proud to be able to announce that H4H has now raised an astonishing £30 million in the 24 months that we have been going. Even more important is the fact that we have been able to spend or allocate over £23.5 m of that to projects that will provide direct and practical support to our wounded.

    When we started, we had no idea just how much generosity and support we would encounter from the public, all desperate to do their bit to help the wounded. I am feeling very optimistic and very proud indeed of you all – well done!

    Emma and I watched the BBC 1 programme Wounded last week and if you missed it, please make every effort to watch it on BBC iPlayer; it was remarkable. It told the very moving story of two of the blokes, Andy and Tom, who were wounded last year in Afghanistan. Tom lost his legs and an arm, Andy, both legs and his sight.

    It was harrowing to see the boys cope with their injuries and then fight back, determined and extraordinarily brave, in time to be able to attend their medal parades with their mates.

    The programme told the whole story, literally from point of impact in Andy’s case as the man who got to him first had a helmet camera operating; it was shocking and raw. We followed him to the field hospital in Camp Bastion and then home, unconscious, to Selly Oak where he received the care of the wonderful staff, before going to Headley Court to begin rehabilitation.

    The programme was very hard to watch at times and deeply moving, particularly as the boys’ parents talked about having to come to terms with their sons’ dreadful injuries. Despite that, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of pride and gratitude that included every single person involved in the ‘path of the patient’.

    Thank you, Andy and Tom, thank you the MOD, thank you the film crew and most of all, thank you all the people; nurses, physios, surgeons and all those who work tirelessly to help our boys and girls recover. We are all so proud of you.

    H4H is thumping along and we now have allocated close to £24m to the direct and practical support of our ‘blokes’, the boys and girls who are injured while serving our country. I am humbled every time I meet them and determined to do my bit, however small, to make their lives a little better. I know you feel the same and I am proud of you all. Well done and keep going!

    You are allowed to be proud!

    Thank you.



    News from HQ H4H

    I thought you might like to know a little of what is happening at HQ H4H. As you know, we started on 1st October 2007 in a tin hut in Tidworth with a small but passionate team of volunteers to man the telephones. We have grown slightly since then.

    We now have two tin huts and some space in the Old Guardroom. We have a team of 12 full time staff lead by Mark who was one of the original team who sat round the kitchen table in the summer of 2007. The full timers are backed up with up to 20 volunteers who come in when they can; the place is humming with activity. The H4H team handles hundreds of phone calls and emails, opens piles of cheques and registers thousands of fund raising events every day. The walls are covered in photographs and newspaper cuttings and the fridge is full of biscuits and cakes; it’s pretty busy!

    Forty five minutes drive away, in Downton, five miles south of Salisbury, we have the H4H Trading team and Group HQ. This is where Bryn and Emma are based with the Trading team, Finance and PR. Here we have Gaynor and her team who take the orders for H4H products and Tony and his warehouse team who ensure that they get sent out. We are based in two industrial estate units, we are bulging at the seams and we do our very best to get the orders out on time. Plans are underway to put in some more floor space so we can cope with the ever-expanding demand for H4H goodies!

    Five miles away, Ben and Sarah are tucked away in a large attic with their IT team creating the wonderful website. In contrast to the offices in Tidworth and Downton, the attic is an oasis of tranquility with just a quiet hum as huge brains work out how to handle the 15 million or so visitors we have had to the site.

    So, HQ H4H has three parts, each as vital as the other. We now have employed staff, we had to after the first few months as we had to pay our mortgages, but the idea of the H4H Trading Company is to cover nearly all of our costs from the sales of products and that works. We keep the costs to a minimum and it makes us feel pretty good to know that currently, if you donate £1 to H4H, only 0.2p goes towards operating costs. We hear from the Charity Commission who congratulate us and say that makes us a pretty unique set up… shucks, we just do our best.

    So that’s us at HQ H4H, so what about you? Belinda coordinates hundreds of volunteers all across the country who, in turn, help support thousands of fundraising events. So far this year, over 9000 events have been registered as people get out there to do their bit and raise money to help support our blokes. There are over 1.4 million people wearing a wristband and millions more who simply want to support our boys and girls; that is wonderful….. well done H4H Team!

    Hot news

    Reach for the sky - The climb to recovery
    On 22 nd Oct we will be joining a very special team to climb the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, Kilimanjaro. Craig is blind, Stu and John are lower leg amputees, Tony was wounded in the arm, Frenchie in the spine and Natalie lost her husband. These are some very impressive people who have taken on the challenge to raise money for H4H.

    We need your support to cheer us all on as we climb Kili, so please sponsor the team, please keep in touch on the website and please tell your friends about what they are doing. There will be coverage in the press from the 12th Oct and we will be putting up a donations page shortly… we need your help so please spread the word!

    The Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2010
    We are about to open the registration site for the next BBBR. We are limited to a total of 300 cyclists who rise to the challenge of riding alongside our wounded heroes. We ride 350 miles across northern France, which is not flat, averaging about 70 miles a day and aim to raise £1m to support our blokes. It is an awesome challenge, some say life changing and will probably be the most rewarding thing you ever do. If you want to take part then go for it!

    Headley Court Progress
    Work is progressing fast at Headley Court and the H4H rehabilitation Complex is ahead of schedule and should be operating at the end of April next year. We will be giving out more details about the opening in due course but in the meantime here are some photographs of the site… very exciting!

    I know that readers of our newsletter have appreciated hearing a little of what life is like in Helmand. This letter is from Lt Col Rob Thompson who has been commanding 2 RIFLES as they have fought the Taliban this long, hot, dusty and very bloody summer. We are all thinking of him and his boys.

    In extraordinary times, extraordinary men and women are doing extraordinary things for the good of our nation and for the benefit of the impoverished people of Afghanistan. There is no doubting the courage and commitment of every man and woman in this Battle Group. It is humbling to watch it in action.

    2 Rifles time in Sangin has been both fascinating and challenging - in equal measure. This tour has been the hardest tour of my career by a very long way and although we are nearing the end, the race is not yet over. If the tour were an Olympic 10000 metre Steeplechase, the bell for the final lap has sounded but, as you will all know, the last lap is often the hardest. We are stood to and every sinew is being strained to ensure we continue to protect the people of Sangin from the Taleban, who continue to deny them education and simple health care by threatening anyone who supports initiatives from the Government of Afghanistan with the most dreadful of threats. For a nation which has been at the forefront of thinking, the capricious closure of schools is particularly callous.

    We have made progress here, news which is often lost in the noise of our pessimistic media. We have opened up the Governance Zone, allowing our District Governor to work outside our FOB. We have new Police Checkpoints which have reduced intimidation in the bazaar. We have increased the numbers of the Police and a whole new sector of our amazing bazaar has been opened up. And, of course, we have taken the fight to the enemy at every opportunity - they are hurting significantly more than we are. And we are keeping the pressure on.

    But all of this has come at a cost. The hole left behind by all those who have been killed is enormous. Each one was a dear friend, a comrade who had been under fire with us, eaten Menu B with us and laughed loudly with us. We will never forget them and their sacrifice. We will care for their families too in their honour. And we will look after our wounded, most carefully. We are grateful for the support given from across our nation and from organisations such as Help for Heroes, to whom we feel a particular affinity given that Bryn and Emma Parry's son is one of my Platoon Commanders! We have lots of ideas for helping our wounded heroes along their road to recovery and we will keep you up to date with progress. The first step is to get as many of them as possible to our Medals Parade in November to receive their medals alongside the rest of their mates.

    Keep us in your thoughts and prayers please - for our last month, for the recovery of those wounded and for the families of those who have been killed in action.

    Swift and Bold - I best get back to the ramparts with the rest of the boys!

  4. November Newsletter:

    Dear H4H Supporter,

    I am delighted to be able 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!

    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.

    Thank you,



    County Co-ordinators:
    The support across the UK for H4H is ever growing and each county has their very own county co-ordinator or two. We thought it would be nice to leave H4H HQ and get into the field to find out how things are getting on.

    This month, we are with Sussex co-ordinator Sarah Lydiard-Wilson:

    In September 2008 I attended an H4H fund raising dinner where we heard a “live” report of the reality of the situation from the front line in Afghanistan. A month later I was fortunate enough to take part in organising a talk by Johnson Beharry VC at Seaford College. The inspiration of this individual and the press reports of the lack of support for those injured in conflict made me feel passionately that I wanted to do something to help.

    Roger Morgan-Granville from H4H also attended both of these events. Having never previously been involved in charity fundraising I asked Roger if there was anything that he could find for me to do: answering phones, stuffing envelopes etc. He asked me how much time I had and now here I am the H4H Sussex Coordinator!

    To this day I am continually amazed and humbled by the drive, energy, sense of fun and commitment of the H4H volunteers and fundraisers within Sussex and also the diverse organisations and individuals who have organised fundraising events over the last 12 months.

    We have had Tennis Club dinners, garden teas, pub events, village fetes, merchandise stands at County Shows, individual sponsored walks, runs and swims, parachute jumps, an Armed Forces Day celebration on Brighton seafront, and a fundraiser who walked the country in the original historic clothing of a C17th Pike Man - weighing 5½ stone!

    We have had support from Thales Aerospace, the incredible team at Sainsbury’s Hastings - who this year alone organised 3 big fundraising events, and the various Masonic Lodges of Sussex. All in all the response shown by the public has been incredible!
  5. December Newsletter:

    Dear H4H Supporter,

    On 12th November, a team from H4H went up to Headley Court to take part in the Topping Out ceremony. We were very privileged to be given a guided tour by the builders and all those who are working so hard to finish the building in record time. For H4H this is far more than the creation of a building, this was our first task and this was the focus for our initial fund raising; this is what inspired you to help.

    When Emma and I decided to do our bit to help, we asked General Sir Richard Dannatt what we could do, what did he need? He said he wanted the blokes to have their own pool rather than be taken to the public pool in Leatherhead. We passed the message on to the people of this country, not having a clue what to expect... And look what happened! Money poured in and it’s still pouring in at a rate of over £1m a month as the ordinary decent people of this country, that’s you, do your bit for the blokes.

    So, the Help for Heroes Rehabilitation Complex will be superb, it will have a wow factor, it will be worthy of the blokes who will use it and you have made that happen. We know several young men, friends, who will use the facility and we just can’t wait for the day that it is all operational. In the meantime, have a look at the photos and the video and give yourself a pat on the back for being a part of something very special indeed; well done.

    We are pushing ahead with fund raising for the Recovery Centres and I understand from the Army that the plans are progressing very well so I should have some good news to relay shortly. Our Launch Pad to Life appeal is going brilliantly and we are on target to raise the £20m by next March if we all keep the pedal to the floor... Don’t stop!

    All of us at H4H are working our socks off and we are getting busier by the day as we deal with the huge support that is coming from you. We are humbled by the realisation that so many people are working in this huge team and we are so grateful for everything you are doing. Keep at it and thanks!

    Onwards and Upwards



    County Co-ordinators:
    This month, we are with Northern Ireland co-ordinator Neal Somerville:

    “I joined Help for Heroes in February as the County Down Co-ordinator, and have since been appointed to the position of the Northern Ireland Coordinator. I am truly humbled to have been given the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people who are willing to pledge their support in any way that they can for our wounded Heroes.

    I got involved with Help for Heroes as I have family and friends in the Army, Navy and Air Force who have served both in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with them being away, it made me realise that I needed to help in some way to show my support for our Armed Forces, as they so bravely carry out their jobs with pride each day.

    The support Help for Heroes has received from the Northern Ireland community is truly astonishing and the fundraising ideas are endless. We have been really buzzing with events registered; marathons at home and around the world, five a-side football tournaments and the four peak challenge to mention just a few.

    The most extraordinary challenge carried out recently was by a crew who sailed across the Irish Sea in a Renault Laguna car, battling the waves to raise money. All this generous support definitely makes me open my eyes and wonder what we can do next!

    One of my highlights of the year was being given the opportunity to work with Journey South for the launch of the new single “What I Love About Home”, which is being released in collaboration with Help for Heroes, and just to be part of this is truly fantastic. The single is a fitting tribute and is due for release on the 13th December.

    2010 will see Northern Ireland produce some big events in aid of Help for Heroes. There will be a concert by The Band of Her Majesties Royal Marines, a Gala Ball, a Zip Line Challenge, and many more. I can’t wait to see what is in store."
  6. There are LOADS of things in the shop now - the range is enormous and there really is something for everyone. If you need some Christmas pressie ideas, take a look as there are some great stocking fillers!
  7. All please be aware that if you order some of the excellent stuff from H4H on a sale or return basis, as H4H pay the postage out to you, you are currently expected to pay for the postage back to them. At the moment this is not very well publicised so do be careful or try very hard to sell all the stuff you order!
  8. If you live in the Beverley area and wish to attend Mike Locketts Memorial, details are:

    The memorial will take place on Saturday 19th December at Longcroft school, Burton road, Beverley. It will start at 11am, as there may be a lot of cars please turn up in plenty of time. The memorial part will go on till 12pm we will then leave the main Hall and go to the canteen for tea and coffee and a catch up and share memories.
    The fundraiser will take part from 1:30pm we have some AMAZING prizes! If anyone would like to sell raffle tickets at their place of work please let kelly know via the link below. If anyone can donate anything from their place of work again please just let her know.
    There is lots of Help for Heroes merchandise to sell on the day from key rings, car stickers, tea towels, teddys and lots more. Even if some of these raffle prizes are not up your street they will make great Christmas presents, here is a few:

    VIP Tickets to see the Saturdays
    Hull City Tickets
    Mens mountain bike curtosey of minster cycles
    Lazaat value £50
    Body matters manicure
    Pizza Hut meal value £30
    Family ticket to the Deep
    Aaron hair salon £50
    Hair voucher from enigma
    £900 worth of wedding photography from Daniel Rushall
    2 x tickets Hull truck theatre
    Family ticket to sea life centre Scarborough
    Round of golf @ Beverley golf club
    3 Months membership at Beverley leisure centre for 2 worth £174
    2 x tickets to the Odeon
    Signed Jimmy White cue
    Cue, darts and membership to Rileys
    Food Hamper
    Sunday lunch for 2 at Lairgate Hotel

    Look North and the newspaper will be there to help show people what we are doing.

    Also as kelly needs to let the school know of numbers attending please let her know if you have not already of your attendance, i know some people have been worried as they may not have seen Mike since school but we are all there to pay our respects and say goodbye to that cheeky chappy that grew up to be a great man, fantastic father and a Solider that died for Queen and Country.

    Anyone is welcome to either the memorial or the fundraising part so let your friends and family know, its all for an amazing cause, our wounded soliders. Kelly's brother is out in Afghanistan now and he and his fellow men are all so proud of what we are doing!

    Thank you for your support, please follow the link below to donate to the Mike Lockett fund in Support of Help for Heroes:

    Kelly Jackson, a school friend of Mikes has done all this work, what a star!!
  9. Well done to Kelly & her mates, an excellent goodbye to Mike for those who couldn't come to the repatriation or funeral and another £2000+ raised for H4H and it even made the TV. Lets hope it acts as a spur to others to carry out their own fund raising event.
  10. is the shop open today? I phoned to chase up my order placed on 2nd December which I have not yet received but just got an answerphone :(

    I chased up on Monday and was told it would be with me yesterday but no sign yet - my brother will be Christmas present-less this year
  11. Apologies, I didn't see this - I have nothing to do with the shop, I'm just a volunteer coordinator in London. Any general queries about the charity or the shop should be directed to the contacts on the website.

    General Enquiries
    Call Help for Heroes on 0845 673 1760 or 01980 846 459
    Help for Heroes - Unit 6, Aspire Business Centre, Ordnance Road, Tidworth, Hants, SP9 7QD

    Shop & Merchandise Enquiries
    Call Help for Heroes Trading on 01725 513 212
    Help for Heroes - 14 Parker's Close, Downton Business Centre, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 3RB
  12. Even more new stuff in the shop!


    January Newsletter:

    Dear H4H Supporter,

    A new year is always daunting as we face the challenges of the next twelve months and, with doom and gloom in the news and freezing weather, it is sometimes hard to look forward with eager anticipation. However, there is so much that is good going on that we can feel optimistic and full of determination, regardless of the snow.

    It is now more than two and a half years since Emma suggested that we should ‘do something to help the wounded’. We launched Help for Heroes on 1st October 2007 with the intention of raising some money to help build a swimming pool at Headley Court. A simple appeal, but it was heard across the country and millions of people have joined us in this extraordinary effort to support our Armed Forces.

    The swimming pool became a superb Rehabilitation Complex, which will be operational in April this year, but our tasks did not end there. Millions have been raised and millions spent on the direct, practical support of our wounded and at the same time.The public has openly demonstrated its support for the men and women of our Armed Forces; it has been inspirational.

    As parents of a young Rifles Officer, Emma and I know what it is like to hear on the news that another soldier has been killed. Each time we hear that, we know that there will be others wounded; some with life changing injuries, some of them friends.

    Visiting the badly wounded at Selly Oak and Headley Court is very hard, war is brutal and many of the injuries are horrific. A mother told me she was ‘fine’, it’s not true; her son has lost his legs, so how can she be ‘fine’? She means she is coping, grateful that he is alive and very grateful for the care he is getting but there is no getting away from the fact that his, and her life, has changed forever.

    It is not fine; it is grim and we feel desperate when we have these conversations, desperate to do something to help. With H4H we are helping and there is hope. It is two and a half years since we first went to Selly Oak and we are seeing those who we first met there get back on their feet, both on prosthetics and metaphorically.

    We are seeing blokes who had no hope, running, climbing, skiing and swimming, looking to the future and most importantly, smiling and laughing. We, all of us who have been a part of the H4H phenomenon share a little part of that, and we have helped put those smiles back and that gives us hope.

    We understand that these dreadful injuries occur, we can’t stop that, but we can do our bit to ensure that those injured get the very best chance at a good future. The wounded boys and girls don’t want our pity, they want opportunity, they want to get on with their lives and we want to enable that.

    We are working closely with the Armed Forces and other service charities and organisations to create a recovery pathway, a process where the wounded servicemen or women follow a programme that equips them with skills and opportunities for life. We will be funding the Personnel Recovery Centres and other initiatives along the pathway to give them the very best chance to launch back into the rest of their lives. They deserve the very best and we will do all in our power to ensure they get it.

    Happy New Year everyone and let’s make it a real cracker!

    Thank you



    Message from a County Co-ordinator:

    Sam Robinson, Co-ordinator for British Forces Germany

    As I write this we are starting to focus on a frenetic year ahead here in British Forces Germany (BFG). However, I would like to reflect just briefly on how the BFG H4H team has evolved to date and, importantly, how it continues to do so.

    I became the Volunteer Co-ordinator for Germany in April 2009 after a long chat with my dear friend Holly Dyer (who at the time was Bryn’s PA) and Lt Col Fred Hargreaves (he of Battleback fame!). Fred is my neighbour here in Herford and an absolute inspiration with regards all things Help for Heroes! What H4H in BFG required was a little bit of coordination – a reassuring hand on the tiller if you like. Money from across BFG was hurtling into H4H HQ but people here were a little unsure as to where to turn to for help with regards to support for their various events and fundraising activities. It was agreed that BFG would replicate the UK model of having nominated County Volunteers; but instead of counties we would have Garrisons/Stations. As I write, we now have Volunteers in the Garrison towns of Hohne, Fallingbostel, JHQ Rheindalen and Herford.

    The variety of events that has taken place across BFG this year is simply extraordinary. Only today, reading our weekly Forces newspaper, Sixth Sense, there are articles about: a charity single sung by rising star 14 year old Asya Pritchard, daughter of a serving soldier; a school music concert; a Mt Everest climb; and a British Army (Germany) football match vs Bielefeld Armenia FC. Incidentally, Bielefeld Armenia FC has close links with BA(G) and has recently made a donation to H4H. Earlier in the year the A33 Anglo-German scooter club nominated H4H as their preferred charity for their fundraising activities. For H4H to receive support from German civilians is, to my mind, quite wonderful. Other events that have taken place include numerous marathons, Naafi catering competitions, merchandise stands at the Army Families Federation Conference and the Herford Bismarck Challenge, parachute jumps, boxing matches, coffee mornings, a Commanding Officer chest wax (ouch!) not to mention all the events that somehow weren’t officially registered but people were keen to get on and raise money anyway! Note to all those reading this in BFG – if you know of someone organizing a H4H event, PLEASE tell them to register it on the website!

    Future events include another Naafi catering competition later in the year with a celebrity chef (this year’s hugely successful event was attended by James Martin who very generously made a large personal donation to H4H). In Gutersloh Garrison in January there is to be a H4H Fun Day which will include a football tournament played in fancy dress! In JHQ in February there is an 8 week weight loss challenge event being held, which will appeal to those of us who have overdone the Gluhwein and currywursts at the Christmas markets! Individuals need to lose a minimum of 2lb per week for the duration of the challenge. Sponsors can pay a donation or an amount per pound lost.

    Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the H4H staff in the UK for their continued and unfailing support to us here in Germany, and to wish everyone an extremely happy, successful and safe 2010.
  13. February Newsletter:

    Dear H4H supporter,

    With Valentine’s Day on February 14th, Emma and the H4H creative team have produced a wonderful range of merchandise to allow those missing their loved ones to express their feelings. With 10,000 Servicemen and women serving in Afghanistan and many more away in other bases around the world, there are thousands of us thinking of them; so let’s tell them.

    If you are related to someone or have a loved one in the Armed Forces, then on Valentine’s Day show that you are thinking of them and wear our new Loved One medal pin to show your support. Pin it on, step out and show the world that you have a loved one serving our country; show that you are proud of them.

    The love that the relatives of Servicemen and women feel for their boy or girl is not a one day event. It is a declaration of solid and enduring commitment that ensures that they can get on with the fight, confident that you are back home with the family and thinking of them. In many ways it can be as hard to be the ones left behind as it is to be out there. You are a vital part of that team, you are having to share that experience, so thank you and ‘keep backing the blokes’.

    To those of you who have no close connection with one of ‘the blokes’ but are still providing that wonderful support, thank you so much. We know how hard you are working on your events or your fund raising and we are so grateful, as are those who are fighting. Keep it up, spread the word, show your support, you are allowed to be proud.

    Thank you all,



    Message From A H4H County Co-ordinator:

    This month, Bernice Brady, our Wiltshire County Co-ordinator, writes about her experiences so far as part of the H4H team:

    I suppose it was almost inevitable that I would end up joining Help for Heroes. I am an ex-servicewoman, a Royal Air Force Auxiliary Medic, married to a serviceman and currently working at Royal Air Force Lyneham. It was here in particular that my increasing contact with injured servicemen and women and families of those being repatriated that kindled my interest in Help for Heroes and a desire to make a difference.

    So since those early days in October 2008 when I joined as a Wiltshire group Co-ordinator, I have seen the organisation go from strength to strength and experienced the never ending generosity of the people of Wiltshire. Indeed I am fortunate that my role at Royal Air Force Lyneham brings me in contact with many of the servicemen and women injured on operations and I have seen first hand the difference Help for Heroes is making in areas such as Headley Court and Selly Oak.

    Wiltshire in particular has a strong affinity with the organisation, based not only on the tireless work of the Hercules fleet and medical evacuation teams working out of Lyneham, but the dignified manner in which the people of Wootton Bassett conduct themselves at each and every repatriation. So at times my job is easy, and we are constantly flooded by service personnel and civilians alike, seeking to give of their best and raise money on behalf of Help for Heroes. I am continually astonished at the constant rate by which donations pour in from only a few pounds to many thousands. All in all, it is such generosity that keeps me going and spurs me on to do as much as I can for this exceptional charity.

    So, as I sit here writing my ‘blog’ for the Newsletter, waiting for my husband to deploy to Afghanistan again for the third time in eighteen months, I look at what will get me through another birthday and Valentine’s day on my own? (He will do anything to save on presents!!) Well I suppose there is the charity auction coming up in Swindon soon, the talk I need to give to the ladies of the Kingsdown Golf Club, the rugby match at Bath Rugby Club and the next record attempt that the inspirational Mike Buss will undertake, as he endeavours to break 20 world records and raise over £1 million pounds by 2014. I am therefore not alone. The Help for Heroes ‘family’ continues to grow and I am privileged to meet some amazing and devoted people in my role as group co-ordinator. Thus I look forward to another successful and rewarding year, and hope that we can raise even more than we did in 2009!!
  14. [align=center]**** £40 MILLION RAISED! ****[/align]

    Dear H4H Supporter,

    I am so proud of you all, everyone who has contributed to raising this absolutely staggering sum of £40m in 28 months and thank you all for your superb support. Every mountain climbed, river swum, road cycled, cake baked and all the other mad things you have done has been worth it as we are today able to see the beginning of a really comprehensive system to give our wounded the support they need and so rightly deserve.

    Today we are able to grant £20m to help fund the building of four Recovery Centres in Colchester, Catterick, Tidworth and Edinburgh, where the wounded can live and learn the skills they need to make a successful future. Further to that, we are pledging to raise a further £20m to fund the courses and opportunities each individual will need. This means that the blokes will be able to choose what suits them and the H4H fund will be there to help, acting as a scholarship for their future.

    We have raised £40m to date, granted £34m already and are working on the next £20m. Remember, all the money raised will go to the cause as our Help for Heroes Trading Company covers all our administration costs, so if we raise £40m, then £40m will be spent. Frankly, that is amazing!

    Please pat yourselves on the backs as this really is a great moment. Servicemen and women, wounded in the service of our country, will directly benefit from the practical and direct support that £40m will provide... and you have raised it! Thank you all so much.

    Now let’s raise the next £20m!

    Onwards and upwards.

  15. March Newsletter:

    Dear H4H supporter,

    I wrote to you two weeks ago to break the news of the new Personnel Recovery Centres that our funding will help build in Edinburgh, Colchester, Catterick and Tidworth. We will also be announcing in March how we propose to support the Individual Recovery Plans of the Service personnel who will leave through injury. The next fundraising effort will be absolutely vital for our boys and girls if they are to get the best launch back into the next phase of their lives.

    Reaching £40m in 28 months was quite literally staggering and we have been working so hard at H4H HQ and in the counties that I think it almost passed us by. We have not yet had time to celebrate or appreciate what it means. It is amazing what you have achieved and you must all take a moment to sit back and say ‘wow, £40m raised, that’s £47,000 a day, £34m granted so far; that is amazing!’ You have been, and are part of, something truly inspirational, a national movement that has literally made its mark on history. Not bad for a bunch of amateurs!

    Sometimes, we are so focused, so determined, so passionate about our appeal that we might think we are the only ones involved in this battle to support the blokes, the men and women of the Armed Forces, well, we are not. Charities such as SSAFA- Forces Help have been at this for 125 years, The Royal British Legion for nearly 90, The ABF- The Soldier’s Charity for 66 and many more have been fundraising, and delivering, support to our Servicemen and women for generations and long may that continue. We may be one of the ‘new kids on the block’ but we are, and must be, part of a team if we are to deliver the very best to our blokes.

    Similarly, the men and women who are being wounded today are not the only Heroes who need our support. We focus on the current wounded and I am sure that has helped bring their generation in to help support their contemporaries, their classmates, that is how it should be. This is, as all wars are, a young people’s war, they do the fighting, so it is right that young people support them. However, we must remember and keep supporting them as they become the older generation, our Veterans. Our support today must continue for their whole lives; we owe them that.

    We can only achieve that long-term support for our men and women by working together seamlessly with the existing charities. If the road to recovery is a path, then all of our great Service Charities are the paving stones that fit alongside each other to help provide the support and care that our blokes need for life. It is wonderful that The Royal British Legion has committed £20m to operate the Recovery Centres for the next 10 years, that SSAFA-Forces Help provide such vital support to the families, especially at their Norton Relative’s Houses and we are delighted that ABF- The Soldiers Charity will be administering the H4H funding for the Individual Recovery Plans. We are working closely with the three Services and their charities, many of whom we have helped with funds or, like Erskine, are project partners. This is teamwork at its best and I ask you to ensure that this continues at every level. We may well be today’s ‘new kids’ but the existing charities are the ‘grown ups’ and they deserve our support and respect. Please work closely and in friendship with your local representatives of all the Service Charities. We are all part of a great team, doing a great job.

    Someone said to me the other day that because H4H calls our wounded ‘Heroes’ does that mean that if you are not wounded you are not a Hero? No and lets get this straight, we consider anyone who joins the Armed Forces, knowing that they may be asked to risk their lives as part of their job, to be heroes, wounded or not. That applies to the current Servicemen and women as it does to all who have served before; you are all Heroes in our eyes and you all deserve the very best.

    £40m is an extraordinary achievement but it is a marker along what needs to be a very long road. We are by no means there yet but we are part of something that is making a real difference to the lives of our wounded and we must ensure that our support, in partnership with others, continues for life.

    Thank you all for what you are doing, whether you are one of the team at Tidworth or Downton, a volunteer, a fundraiser or donor, you are are all a critical part of this wonderful national show of support and affection for our Armed Forces; long may it continue.

    Thank you,



    Message From A H4H County Co-ordinator:

    Pip Hughes, our County Coordinator for North Wales, writes this month’s piece on his experience of heading up a county:

    Having been asked to write an article to appear in our March newsletter to you all was rather fitting as we in Wales celebrated St David’s Day on March 1st and my former Regiment, The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, are currently deployed on Operations in Afghanistan. So to all the boys serving out there “and St David’s”.

    I joined the team at H4H in October 2007, coordinating Wales, Merseyside and Cheshire. That was at a time when H4H was really finding its feet but we had the enormous task of raising £8 million for a Hydro Therapy Pool at Headley Court. Luckily, I knew Bryn Parry and with him being a Welshman I joined his team.

    Not many people recall the difficult days that we all endured when H4H was started. The endless hours that Bryn and Emma devoted to the charity that they had formed and the nights we all spent replying to emails and answering phone calls. We were all doing this as well as looking after our day jobs and trying to have a normal family life.

    Well, those difficult early days have paid off. Today, we are part of the most successful and talked about charity in current times. That is partly due to Bryn and his team for their guidance but it is also down to all those Volunteer County Coordinators that keep the wheels on this machine turning. But let us not forget that we do this for a reason and that is to support our injured Servicemen and women that have sacrificed much more in life than any of us would ever have been asked to do.

    As a former Soldier myself, being part of H4H has been one of the most rewarding things that I have had the pleasure to be involved with. Knowing that every pound raised goes to the soldiers and that the H4H shop covers our running costs is something that we can all be very proud of.

    However we must also not forget those that support us and help us raise the money that we need to make Help for Heroes what it is today. Therefore to the army of wristband-wearing Help for Heroes supporters, I would like to thank you all. Keep supporting us and all our brave soldiers. Don’t stop. Enjoy the events that you organise and keep on doing them. Our soldiers haven’t stopped fighting for us so don’t stop raising money for them! We have a mountain to climb and we’re not at the summit yet!

    Finally I would like to say a huge thank you to the team at Tidworth that make our lives as Volunteer Coordinators so much easier. Mark Elliott at the helm deserves great recognition for what he has done. Belinda Mitchell, my boss, for always being there when you’re in a crisis, Amanda Davies who counts in the money every day, Claire Salisbury who runs our shop and the rest of the team.

    To all of you that have taken the time to read this I want to end as Simon Cowell said:

    “You make me proud to be British”.

    Good luck to you all and God bless.