SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity has helped raise over £28,000 to enable a disabled veteran to purchase a new vehicle that is compatible with his wheelchair.
Local veteran, Steve Boylan, 47, had a distinguished 22-year career as a Warrant Officer in the Royal Engineers and saw action in Kosovo and Afghanistan. A fuel specialist by trade, Steve assisted in humanitarian operations in Sierra Leone, drilling for clean water during the Ebola crisis. As a Royal Engineer Steve was also instrumental in bringing an episode of Time Team to life in, ‘The Somme’s Secret Weapon,’ recreating a devasting machine used during World War 1.
But in 2015, he was involved in a motorcycle accident that left him with severe brain damage and speech difficulties, as well as the inability to walk.
Throughout his rehabilitation, Steve was adamant that he wouldn’t let his circumstances get the better of him, and even entered the Worthing 10K in 2021 with his friends pushing him in his wheelchair.
As part of his rehabilitation and treatment, Steve is required to attend regular medical appointments, and because of this, he is incredibly reliant on his car. Unfortunately, in 2021, his car needed to be replaced as it was no longer fit for purpose. Steve’s Army friend, Captain Dave Curry, approached SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity for assistance with purchasing another vehicle to accommodate Steve’s needs.
The SSAFA Worthing and Horsham Division supported the case and local volunteer, Geraldine Davidson, helped to raise the funds that allowed Steve to purchase a new vehicle.
“I could see how much a new vehicle would mean to Steve and his parents, Peter and Mary, but I knew that raising such a substantial sum would be a challenge. I decided to approach and work with a number of military charities for funding.”
By Christmas, Geraldine had raised over £28,000 through donations from military charities, including SSAFA. The Royal Engineers Association generously donated £10,000, and the ABF, RBL, Help for Heroes and Blesma all made substantial contributions too. The generous amount raised allowed the family to buy a suitable vehicle to accommodate Steve’s needs.
The vehicle has not only given Steve the ability to get to his appointments, but also allows him to go on outings and even travel to watch his children play football.