The Charities

Chosen Charity: Walking with the Wounded

Time for another update. As you can see in the title of this post, I've chosen Walking with the Wounded (WwtW) as the second recipient of donations we raise. Founded in 2013, the charity is the brainchild of a couple of ex-Forces personnel. The principle aim of the Ed and his team is to raise money for wounded servicemen, and women, in order to fund rehabilitation and vocational programmes. WwtW also works directly with Recovery Career Service, Back to Work and LifeWork in as part of the overall service they offer.

Again, there's a wealth of information over at I highly recommend you visit the site for a deeper understanding of what they are and the work they undertake.

Here's a little of what these formidable men and women get up to:

So why WwtW? I'm a former soldier. I was fortunate enough to have served my time without ever being seriously injured. I have the odd scrape and a few memorable scars, but that's pretty much it. Some of my friends and colleagues weren't so lucky. A number of them were maimed in the line of duty and, when I was still serving, the facilities and services offered to injured troops was pretty abysmal.

Thanks to people like the founders, the wider public is now far more aware of the difficulties former servicemen and women face when trying to return to civilian life with what can sometimes only be classed as horrific wounds. The charity, and all the workers provide an invaluable service that not only helps rehabilitate the wounded, but also seeks to highlight the plight of those who would otherwise slip through the gaps.

I'm aware that teams from WwtW have already traveled to both Poles, but that shouldn't be a blocker for my plans. Every penny and pound that I can raise for this charity will, in my eyes, be worth the effort I put in.

I appreciate that donating money to any branch of the Armed Forces doesn't sit well with everyone. To that end, and a little closer to the time, I will be adding two links for anyone who wishes to sponsor WwtW or Diana Award. Each link will take you to a specific donation page.

I'm not saying you must donate anything, but, if you look deep into you heart, I honestly think you'll see that one, or both of these charities is well worth at least a fiver.

Thanks for you time.

Make sure you visit again soon for another update.

Chosen Charity: Diana Award

The first of the charities I've designated as a recipient of sponsorship from the North Pole trek is Diana Award. Founded in 1999, the organisation believes young people have the power to change the world for the better. Awards are presented to individuals who make a positive difference in their community and currently there are around 42,000 award holders around the UK. I'm not going to try to repeat their goals here as that would be counter-productive and they have done a much better job of articulating their aims here:

What I will say is that I agree with Princess Diana's statement that young people are the future; guiding, inspirating and encouraging them are key to a better world.

In April 2015 I had the pleasure to meet Katie Marple, the outgoing Head of Awards and Network Programmes, and Emma Scott, the Mentoring and Network Training Manager for Diana Award. They were incredibly patient, listening to me lumber through the reasons why I had decided to support their charity and tales of the gruesome injuries I've received over the years.

In return for a potted account of my intentions, they gave me a deeper understanding of what Diana Award seeks to achieve, highlighting the anti-bullying programme they launched a few years ago. Both impressive women and very passionate about the work they do.

After regaling the two ladies with a few more stories I left the building feeling pretty good. I do believe that, given the focus the organisation has, the fit between what I am going to do and inspiring youth is perfect.

Next step: meeting Tessy Ojo, the CEO. Really looking forward to this and will update you all following the meeting.