A group of Help for Heroes veterans were recently hosted by Colchester United at our game against Coventry City; a partnership that seems to have been a perfect match.
One beneficiary who attended commented: "Playing sports has been so important for my physical recovery but spending time with friends and family watching sports is just as important.
"It allows me to focus the mind on other issues and temporarily escape my anxieties. When the opportunity arose to visit our local Football Club I jumped at the opportunity.
The League Two Club originally donated a guided tour and executive box package at a match to an auction hosted by the Mayor of Colchester. Cllr Gerard Oxford has Help for Heroes as one of his “Charity of the Year” partners and was hoping that the auction would raise some much-needed cash for his worthy causes.
Philip Lawrence of Baverstocks Chartered Accountants bid for the lot but, on learning that Help for Heroes was one of the beneficiaries, he kindly donated it back.
He said: "I’m a Colchester chap born and bred; the armed forces have always been very important to the town, so I wanted to do something to help. I strongly feel that those who put their lives on the line for us deserve a second chance at life and we must do our upmost to respect them.
"Having now been to Colchester Recovery Centre and seeing the services that the charity offers, I’m really impressed that its so far reaching. You tend to think of injured servicemen who have stepped on a bomb, but the charity supports many more with hidden wounds."
Colchester Recovery Centre aims to inspire, enable and support those who have been wounded, injured or sick while serving our country; encouraging them to lead active, independent and fulfilling lives.
With an adaptive gym, an award winning reflective garden, a Support Hub made up of multiple charities, a psychological well-being suite, en-suite bedrooms and family rooms Chavasse VC House has been specially designed to offer the
very best recovery environment.
The charity also supports the loved ones of our veterans; understanding that a supportive network can be crucial for recovery.
Colchester United Supporters Liaison Officer Matt Hudson said: “It was great to meet the veterans from the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre recently and for us to be able to fulfil a memorable evening for the group.
"Colchester United is very proud of its position in the town’s community and the links we have with the military; both here in Colchester and further afield. It was our pleasure to be able to welcome them thanks to Baverstocks’ generosity.”
Help for Heroes strives to empower veterans to regain their purpose; to unleash their expert minds, skilled bodies and courageous hearts.
Thank you to Philip Lawrence of Baverstocks and Colchester United Football Club for being part of the Force for Good.
Together they are helping our veterans to make a positive impact on society once more.