Press Release | 22/08/2015
And they’re off… The Walk Of Britain begins
Six wounded veterans, 1,000 miles, 72 days
Today (Saturday 22nd August) at 11am six wounded veterans set off on their epic 1,000 mile, 72 day challenge from Scotland to London. All six have either physical or cognitive injuries sustained in the line of duty.
Walking With The Wounded’s latest endeavour, the Walk Of Britain will see six wounded veterans walk over 1,000 miles through mainland UK throughout August, September and October, finishing at Buckingham Palace on 1st November. The walk will engage with local communities every day to highlight the extraordinary determination of ‘Our’ wounded personnel and to raise awareness of the work that Walking With The Wounded (‘WWTW’) is doing across the country to support the wounded back into independence through long-term employment.
The core team of four British wounded veterans and two US wounded will be joined by other wounded personnel each week in different parts of the country.
Prince Harry has supported Walking With The Wounded since the charity was formed, taking part in the trek to the North Pole in 2011 and to The South Pole in 2013. He was also Patron of the WWTW Everest Expedition in 2012 and is again the Expedition Patron for The Walk of Britain and will be joining the team along the way.
The core team consists of:
Stewart Hill suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) on 4th July 2009 whilst commanding B Company, 2 MERCIAN in Afghanistan which has resulted in brain impairments within his executive function brain area, chronic fatigue, memory problems, severe and persistent tinnitus and bilateral hearing loss.
Matt Fisher sustained a gunshot wound to his left foot on Boxing Day 2009 in Afghanistan which resulted in subsequent elective left leg amputation 12 months later
Alec Robotham suffered severe right leg trauma as a result of shrapnel damage from a suicide bomb incident whilst on operation in the Helmand district of Afghanistan in 2010. He also suffered puncture wounds in his right leg, right arm, secured hearing damage and a left foot drop (metal plate was then inserted).
Scott Ransley is blind in his right eye as a result of an IED blast whilst clearing an IED factory
Kirstie Ennis suffered full thickness facial trauma, oral and maxillofacial reconstruction, damage to her cervical and lumbar spine, hearing impairment, bilateral shoulder trauma, a traumatic brain injury, and left foot limb salvage
Andrew Bement suffers from PSTD with depression and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury resulting in diminished executive functioning.
Edward Parker, Co-founder and CEO of Walking With The Wounded commented: “Walking over 1,000 miles is no mean feat. Yet again, we will be able to demonstrate that despite injuries these men and women look to their future with great determination and courage. We are also very excited about walking amongst the communities who have been so supportive of the military and Walking With The Wounded and we look forward to them coming out to support the team on their journey.”
Each week of The Walk Of Britain is sponsored by a different partner with Week One kindly sponsored by Esri UK the official mapping partner to the Walk of Britain.
Richard Waite, Chairman of Esri UK, the official mapping partner to the Walk of Britain and sponsor of the first week of the walk commented:
“We are here in a country of dramatic landscapes and a proud history; what could be a more appropriate location from which to start such an incredibly challenging expedition?
“We are immensely proud to support these young men and women who have given so much to their countries through active service. We are also delighted to have worked closely with Walking with the Wounded to plan this complex expedition using our unique mapping software.”
Week One Route through Scotland:
Loch Ness South West
Fort William (They climb Ben Nevis
Fort William (They climb Ben Nevis)
Kinloch Rannoch War Memorial
Glasgow (WWTW’s Home Straight residence)
Falkirk Wheel, arrival for 16:30
On their journey the team will be joined by other wounded veterans to lend their support as well as a number of celebrities. They will also be joined by the wonderful Military Wives, ladies so close to the military, unstinting in their support for husbands, brothers, partners. The Scout Association is encouraging local groups to join the Walk as part of a wider plan we have with them whereby we are encouraging ex-servicemen and women to become adult volunteers in Scouting.
The team hope that as they travel through the country, people will turn out and support them, and everyone will get behind them as they head towards their goal.
Please do follow our Walk Of Britain expedition and help us to spread the word, raising awareness of and funds for our wounded: http://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk/walkofbritain2015/ #WalkOfBritain @supportthewalk.
See the route the team will follow below: