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Wayne Bridge kicks off this year’s Walking Home for Christmas

Wayne Bridge has backed a major fundraising drive to help Britain’s wounded veterans who are at risk, some battling unemployment, isolation and struggling with their mental health.

The former professional footballer now turned adventurer, was inspired to get involved in Walking With The Wounded’s annual Christmas campaign after winning Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins earlier this year.

He was joined by a host of beneficiaries and supporters of the charity on a walk to the Cenotaph in London to raise awareness of the cause and inspire members of the public to sign up for their own walks in December.

Bridge 39, said

“After taking part in SAS: Who Dares Wins and getting to know some of the guys taking us through the challenges, you quickly learn the immense stresses they’ve had to go through – both physically and mentally – to risk their lives to make Britain – and the world – a safer place for us all.

“Yet when they return, they may find themselves isolated and struggling to find work as they adapt to civilian life – all while struggling with their mental health after witnessing scenes in battle that you or I cannot imagine.  

He added “There’s a solution there and a simple one, 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.” 

The retired professional footballer was joined by actors Dean-Charles Chapman 22, and George MacKay 27, the leads for British film Director Sam Mendes’ upcoming WW1 film 1917, which will be released in cinemas on 10 January.

Sam Mendes, who directed, produced and co-wrote 1917, said:

“I care about our ex-military because my own grandfather fought in the war and it’s his experiences that inspired me to write and direct 1917. It shows the extraordinary things young men and women do and go through during wartime. Those experiences will impact their lives forever and especially at Christmas.”

They have called 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.

Ed Parker, CEO of Walking With The Wounded said:

“We’re so grateful to Wayne, Sam Mendes and the team behind 1917 for their involvement. People in the public eye throwing their support behind the campaign makes a huge difference to our outcomes supporting veterans who have little to look forward to this Christmas get back into a place where they can support themselves and their families next year.

“So, what better time to give something back to those who have given so much?

“Whether you walk home from work one day, walk to visit a relative you’ve not seen for a while, or simply stroll around your local park with friends, you will be helping raise money for those veterans who might be struggling this Christmas.”

The campaign invites anyone to register for free, receive a branded Santa hat and do a sponsored walk home or somewhere important to them anytime between 12 -22 December.

The event is aiming to support 400 ex servicemen and women who are socially isolated, struggling with their mental health, homeless or caught in police custody – and get them back into employment and independence.

Signing up for Walking Home for Christmas is easy and free – just log on to www.walkinghomeforchristmas.com and register for your fundraising pack.

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For more information, please contact Pete Connell (pete.connell@staturepr.com)

Notes to Editors:

About Walking Home For Christmas:

How To Enter:

  • Sign up for free at www.walkinghomeforchristmas.com
  • Receive a Santa hat and fundraising pack, plan your walk and tell your friends
  • Walk as far as is challenging for you, 1 mile or 100
  • Any time from 12th – 22nd December

Need ideas for your walk?

  • The Long Haul – Go large and surprise yourself and a relative
  • The workplace challenge – Teambuilding or client engaging!
  • School’s out – Walk home from school or uni with parents or friends
  • The Team Outing – Walk to a pub for dinner
  • The Ingenious Idea – Hand deliver a present or carry a Christmas tree home
  • The Train-ing Plan – Get off the train a stop early
  • The (long) dog walk – Take the lead and have an adventure
  • Strava Art – Map out a message of support with your walking route

KEY FACTS:

  • There are 1,464 ex servicemen and women supported by Walking With The Wounded in 2018 thanks to our fundraisers
  • 2,323 mental health sessions were delivered in 2018 through Walking With The Wounded’s network and within an average of 7 miles from their home
  • £675 is the average cost to receive 12 mental health therapy sessions.

Case Studies – TBC

Interview time with each case study is available

About Walking With The Wounded:

Walking With The Wounded is a charity established to support the employment aspirations and vocational outcomes of our wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, those who have been physically, mentally and socially disadvantaged by their service.

WWTW recognises the inherent skills of our armed service personnel and wants to compliment these qualities, as well as provide support to transfer their skills into the civilian workplace.  We offer assistance through our programmes to those vulnerable veterans who have been physically, mentally or socially disadvantaged by their service and assist them in gaining independence through new long term careers outside of the military.  This includes providing support to homeless veterans and veterans in the Criminal Justice System, areas which are too often ignored.

The outcome? Sustainable employment and independence for them and their families.

Find out more at www.wwtw.org.uk

For more information on Walking With The Wounded, please contact Willa Greenock (willa.greenock@wwtw.org.uk) at 01263 863 901

Our Executive Members

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