Two weeks ago, we told you how money raised by customers at Gieves & Hawkes is busy making a difference to crafts charity QEST, but that’s just half the story. Also sharing in those Pennies donations is the inspiring Walking With The Wounded, a charity that supports injured ex-service personnel by helping them to retrain and secure employment once they return to civilian life.
To date, your pennies help Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) to the tune of nearly £2,000 via Pennies thanks to customers adding just 75p to their total when paying by card at the world-famous Savile Row tailors. The value of these donations can’t be overstated.
Research suggests it takes, on average, 14 years for a veteran with cognitive injuries to come forward and ask for assistance. WWTW are working not only to support these veterans once they do seek help, but to increase awareness of their work and services through high-profile projects and fundraising events like last year’s South Pole Allied Challenge.
Donations to WWTW can fund everything from lodging for a wounded soldier on a residential course (just £50), to training that helps an ex-serviceman or woman secure the skills they need to thrive in a new career, as was the case for Dan Majid.
Dan was working with a regular army unit, 2 Para, in Helmand until November 2010 when, at the front of a patrol weeping with a detector designed to alert soldiers to the improvised explosive devices (IEDs), a bomb exploded.
“I looked at my arm and it wasn’t moving,” says Dan. “I climbed out of the ditch and my arm swung forward from the shaft (upper arm) and I thought ‘That’s not right’. I put my hand round and squashed my whole arm in my fist. I was covered in blood. I thought it was being held on by my shirt. I thought ‘My arm has come off but everything else is fine so I am going to be fine. I am just going to have to deal with it.’”
As he applied a tourniquet, he noticed that he was moving his fingers, that somehow the limb was still attached and after several operations medical staff were able to save his arm.
After returning from Afghanistan, Dan benefited from WWTW’s First Steps bursary scheme, using his funding to retrain as a geography teacher. He was also been able to take part in the WWTW Everest expedition, inspiring other wounded soldiers to seek help.
To find out more about Dan’s story, and Walking with the Wounded’s work, watch the video below: