East Anglian blind veterans learn how to sail in Levington

Six blind veterans from East Anglia have been taking to the waves and learning a new skill during a sailing taster day, provided by Blind Veterans UK and The East Anglian Sailing Trust.

Through the use of audio navigation units, tactile charts and Discovery Pens, the vision-impaired ex-Service men were able to fully partake in the exciting day of sailing in Levington, near Ipswich.

The blind veterans, who hail from Ipswich, Colchester, Ely and Southwold, fulfilled a variety of roles on the yacht, including: navigator, helmsman, mainsheet trimmer and grinder.

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OA Sponsored Navy Cricket Team has Good Start to Season

The Royal Navy Women’s Cricket Club (RNWCC) was runner-up in its first tournament of the year.

The cricket team, sponsored by the OA, recently competed in the Watsonian Cricket Festival, in Edinburgh. The friendly competition was the first outdoor cricket fixture this season for all clubs involved. The weather was unusually fine, and it was claimed to be one of the biggest ladies’ sporting events in Scotland for the year so far. The team got through to the final but lost to the Army.

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John’s Journey: Ex-Serviceman John Is Joining The Walk Of America…

John Mayhead served in Iraq in 2005 as a company commander in the Coldstream Guards. In the years that followed, he developed PTSD which led into chronic depression and anxiety. This is his story of illness and eventual recovery, leading to his place in this year’s Walk of America.

Strangely, it wasn’t the obvious trauma that most affected me. The horrors of war – luck separating the unscathed and the maimed, dead friends, wounded children – these are the awful reality of combat but one that my Army training had prepared me for since the day, aged 19, I had joined.

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Troop of military runners to battle Vitality 10K for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity

The Vitality London 10,000 takes place this Bank Holiday Monday (28 May) and SSAFA wants to say thank you to the 112 runners who are set to pound the pavements in aid of the Armed Forces community. The weather is set to be a sweltering 25oc, making this even more remarkable.
SSAFA wishes them all the very best of luck. Their efforts mean that SSAFA can continue to provide lifelong support to the Armed Forces, veterans and their families in times of need. Beginning this vital work in 1885, this makes SSAFA the oldest tri-service, military charity running in the UK. This year alone, staff and teams of volunteers have helped over 67,000 people – from World War Two veterans to those involved in more recent conflicts and their families.

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Cumbrian Challenge 2018 Success

This weekend four former Alabaré Gloucestershire Homes for Veterans residents took on the daunting task of the Cumbrian Challenge in support of Walking With The Wounded. The 23km tab took them up Lingmoor Fell and Blake Ridge, an elevation of around 5000ft and in temperatures of around 24 degrees, and whilst they completed against about another 100 teams, the four came first for a second year running as they completed the course in around 4 ½ hours.

Paul Bradley (Ex-Parachute regiment) John Clark (Ex-Rifles), Paul Newark (Ex-Grenadier Guards) and Mark Arnold (Ex-Royal Gibraltar Regiment) decided to run the course despite the temperatures.

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Surrey blind veteran to take on 22-mile walk along D-Day beaches for military charity

A blind veteran from Surrey is currently training to take part in a 22-mile walk along on the Normandy coastline to commemorate the anniversary of D-Day.

Chris Kennedy, 58 and from Guildford, will take part in the event alongside five other blind veterans supported by Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women. The challenge will take place on 6 June, the anniversary of the 1944 Allied invasion of occupied France.

Chris says: “As soon as I heard about the event I knew I wanted to take part. I think it’s going to be a unique experience, and I very much believe that sight loss shouldn’t stop me from taking on a challenge.”

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Parachute Regiment Corporal runs Amazon Ultra-Marathon for Support our Paras

In June, Colchester based 3 PARA Cpl Antony ‘Herbie’ Hyde will be taking on the Amazon rainforest in a bid to raise £10,000 for his regimental charity Support our Paras.

Cpl Hyde has signed up to take part in the Jungle Ultra Marathon, which will see him travel 230km in just 7 days. The course in the Manu National Park, deep in the Amazon rainforest, Peru, runs from the Andes mountains to the Madre di Dios river, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees during the day and then dropping to 10 degrees at night.

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Walk Of America 2018: Meet UK Team Member, Kemsley.

Kemsley is one of the core UK team members taking part in the Walk Of America this year. He served with the Royal Signals for 15 years, a job he loved, but he is currently awaiting medical discharge. Kemsley struggles with repeated double shoulder dislocations which have severely impaired his physical and sporting abilities, and thus his ability to remain within the Army. He is passionate about helping and encouraging other ex-servicemen and women to come forward and seek support, and to shine the spotlight on those, who like him, feel that they aren’t injured ‘enough’ to warrant support.

We spoke to Kemsley this week about the upcoming expedition…

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Walk Of America 2018: Meet UK Team Member, Jonny.

Jonny, 28, is one of the core Walk Of America 2018 UK team members. He joined the Army to find a sense of identity, purpose and belonging. Jonny served with the Royal Anglian for 8 years but was medically discharged in 2016 due to a shoulder injury and mental health difficulties. He began sofa surfing immediately after leaving the forces as he had no home to go to, but he is currently a resident of The Beacon, a specialist veterans support centre which aids veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

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