Help for Heroes and Mission Motorsport continue to help rebuild lives

Friday 10 February 2017

When Andrew was medically discharged from the Royal Navy in 2013, his mental health suffered. But a partnership between Help for Heroes and Mission Motorsport is helping Andrew to rebuild his life post injury.

He had served for nearly 24 years as a Warfare and Intelligence Officer, but a number of different medical conditions, including PTSD, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a degenerative spinal disease, meant that he could no longer work. Not only had he lost his career, but he had also lost his home, his marriage and his identity. He spiralled into depression.

Later that summer, through an invite from the Help for Heroes Fellowship group, Band of Brothers, Andrew, of Southsea, attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed where he was introduced to Mission Motorsport. He spoke to the Vocational Manager about his career and expressed his desire to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy, having seen first-hand the work they do at Headley Court and Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, Tedworth House. At the time, Andrew couldn’t see his dream ever becoming reality.

He continued to attend events organised my Help for Heroes and Mission Motorsport and admits that “for the first time in years, [he] began to feel that [he] was anything other than worthless.”

Fast forward and Andrew is now completing his second year at Northampton University where he is studying Occupational Therapy in the hope of providing wellbeing support to injured veterans in the future. Help for Heroes provided grant funding for Andy to complete his three-year university course with further financial support provided by Walking with the Wounded and the Royal Navy Officers Charity.

Andy explained: “My wheels were starting to fall off and Help for Heroes screwed them on tight and put me back on the road.

“When I have my wobbles it is my family at Mission Motorsport and Help for Heroes who I turn to, as they provide me with unstinting non-judgmental support and some fun! I always feel much better for speaking to or being with the team at Mission; they recognise when I go quiet, which they have learned is often a sign that I’m struggling, and they gently make contact to make sure that I’m okay.”

“This charity changes lives and I believe punches well above its weight in the providing practical support to WIS veterans and I am proud of what they do. I have seen first-hand how the charity gives broken blokes a future and it is no exaggeration to say that in my case, they have given me a future I would not otherwise have had, through their encouragement, tenacity and unstinting support over the past few years.”

Help for Heroes have grant funded more than £1million to Mission Motorsport, which was set up to aid the recovery and rehabilitation of those affected by military operations by providing opportunities through motorsport.

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