Early on Monday 12th November, TV star, Ross Kemp, joined Walking With The Wounded on Millennium Bridge in order to back this year’s #WalkingHomeForChristmas campaign. Ross walked alongside a remarkable team of veterans, battling strong winds and heavy downpours, all the way to the Cenotaph on Whitehall in order to raise the profile of Britain’s wounded veterans who are at risk, battling unemployment, isolation and struggling with their mental health.
Earlier this year, Prince Harry announced that the support for the Armed Forces and veteran communities would only get better through greater collaboration within the military sector. This is why Walking With The Wounded and Help for Heroes, who have been working together delivering support to veterans since 2012, are now joining forces for Walking Home for Christmas. The campaign will raise money to support veterans who are unemployed or struggling with their mental health.
The aim of Monday’s walk was to call on Brits across the country to put their best foot forward to raise much-needed cash to help veterans and their families – simply by going for a walk.
“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the men and women who risk their own lives to make Britain – and the world – a safer place for us all,” said Ross.
“Yet when they return, people in the Armed Forces often struggle to adapt to civilian life – and rarely get the heroes’ welcome they deserve. They may find themselves alone, struggling to find work – or even a home – and many are also struggling with their mental health after witnessing scenes in battle that you or I cannot imagine.
“But just by going for a walk in the run-up to Christmas, you can raise money that is essential to help these brave men and women who have risked their own lives thousands of miles from home. Anyone can raise money for Walking Home For Christmas by taking part in a sponsored walk between December 13th – 23rd – whether it’s taking a present to a loved one or walking to a place that means something to you.”
All funds raised from this year’s campaign will be split between Walking With The Wounded and Help for Heroes to pay for vital support for veterans at risk. For example:
- £150 could pay for a one-day employment course
- £300 could pay for mentoring support to start up a business
- £675 is the average cost to receive 12 mental health therapy sessions
Duncan struggled with depression and alcohol after leaving the Army – and even became homeless – but is now back in work and rebuilding his life thanks to support from Walking With The Wounded.
“In the Army you believe you’re invincible and that nothing is going to hurt you. But when you come out you realise you’re not Superman and that what can hurt you may well not be physical but might be something inside,” said Duncan.
“It took a long time getting to the point where I admitted I needed to speak to somebody but it was a massive help getting to that point.
“To anyone wondering about taking part in Walking Home for Christmas, please get off the bus or train early, put your Santa hat on and walk home – you could be helping a veteran on the way to fitting into civilian life.”
What better way to serve those who have served us? Signing up for Walking Home for Christmas is easy and free! Simply head to www.walkinghomeforchristmas.com and register for your fundraising pack today.
The Cumbrian Challenge returns for 2019
Registration for Walking With The Wounded’s legendary Cumbrian Challenge, is now open for May 2019, via a brand new website.
Now in its seventh year, the event in Grasmere in the heart of the Lake District has seen more than 700 teams take part, raising more than £1 million to support those who served.
For 2019, teams of three or four can take on one of three fun and challenging routes around the Langdale Pikes alongside teams of veterans being supported by the charity.
Dale Eades took part for the first time last May with a team from Morson Group. He said: “I found it breath-taking, heart-breaking and inspiring meeting and hearing the stories of the guys – it made the fundraising efforts worthwhile. I personally enjoyed how our team bonded in these adverse conditions, we all work in separate departments and are now good friends”.
The event, supported by FDM Group and BAE Systems, features 150 military, individual and corporate teams – with each team fundraising in advance to support a veteran from social isolation back into society.
Find out more, watch the video and register your team at www.cumbrianchallenge.org
*Serving military teams are eligible for 50% ticket discount. Find out more here.