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Veterans Fundraising for Remembrance Day

Disabled veteran residents at Worthing-based charity Care for Veterans have chosen to take on various physical challenges to fundraise for their home and to honour fallen heroes for Remembrance Day.

Care for Veterans is a 63-bed facility offering rehabilitative, respite, long-term and palliative care for disabled ex-service personnel since 1919. Their in-house services enable veterans who have sustained life-changing injuries and diagnoses to learn to walk again, talk again, and maintain as much independence as possible.

To honour the fallen heroes of the Armed Forces community, and to support the future of disabled veterans, Care for Veterans is encouraging people to take on their annual Race for Remembrance virtual challenge. Care for Veterans Fundraising Support Officer Jaime Mootealoo explained, “For Race for Remembrance, individuals can choose a fitness challenge, alongside the number eleven which represents Remembrance Day, annually held on the 11th of November. This could mean running or swimming 11k, cycling 11 miles or even walking 11,000 steps for 11 days in November. Participants will choose where and when they want to complete their task, and will hopefully be sponsored by family and friends. To celebrate this achievement, we will send them a personal certificate to acknowledge their brilliant efforts”.

Resident veterans Steve Boylan, Vardre Holland and Andy Dickinson have volunteered to take up this challenge, each in their own unique way. For Royal Engineer veteran Steve Boylan, this will mean completing an 11k cycle. Steve served in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone before he sustained a life-changing brain injury and partial paralysis in a road traffic accident at just 39 years of age.

With regular support from physiotherapy, Steve now cycles 4k on a regular basis using a wheelchair-adapted bike. Lead Physiotherapist Kate Ellis commented, “Taking on an 11k cycling distance is a significant challenge for Steve – it’s his version of a marathon. We’re not only confident that he’ll achieve this goal thanks to his steadfast determination but also that his mental health will receive a fantastic boost from the satisfaction of meeting this new target.”

90-year-old REME veteran and Arsenal fan Vardre Holland has chosen to complete 11 football kicks whilst standing. Vardre came to live at Care for Veterans eight years ago after surviving a stroke which caused weakness, stiffness and a lack of control in the left half of his body. By attending twice-weekly sessions in physiotherapy, Vardre has been able to regain enough strength to make achieving this challenging personal goal, possible. Vardre shared, “I am determined to complete this challenge in memory of my Uncle Lance Sargent John James Horgen, who was killed whilst serving in Tunisia in 1943 during WWII.”

Since suffering a stroke in 2019 which left Royal Navy veteran Andy Dickinson in a wheelchair with partial paralysis and reduced vision, Andy has maintained a high level of determination to maintain and rebuild as much strength as possible. To coincide with his personal goals, support Care for Veterans and show his respects to fallen soldiers, Andy has agreed to complete three sets of eleven sit-to-stands.

Lead Physiotherapist Kate explained, “Andy is a wheelchair user whose strength is only in his right side. Moving from the sitting to standing position is a big challenge for him. Achieving three sets of eleven sit-to-stands will be an empowering moment for Andy, which will push him to rediscover a great level of physical strength”. Andy shared that he is also motivated by the memory of a close veteran friend, who he said was an “amazing positive person and great role model to myself and many others”.

Residents Steve, Vardre and Andy will be completing their challenges on Thursday 9th November. Together, they have a joint JustGiving page live for people to sponsor them from. To show your support and make a donation, click here.

If you’d like to sign up to the Race for Remembrance, click here.

Updates on residents’ progress will be shared on the Care for Veterans Facebook page. Click here to follow their page.

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