Sunderland war hero who fell 800ft when parachute failed organises bike ride to help wounded veterans

Army veteran Jim Holborn is taking part in the Emperor bike ride.
Army veteran Jim Holborn is taking part in the Emperor bike ride.
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A Sunderland war hero who fell 800ft when his parachute failed to open is organising a sponsored bike ride to benefit wounded veterans.

Jim Holborn snapped all the ligaments and tendons in his left ankle when he fell to the ground in 2002.

Army veteran Jim Holborn is taking part in the Emperor bike ride.

Army veteran Jim Holborn is taking part in the Emperor bike ride.

After learning to walk again, he transferred from the Parachute Regiment to the Royal Logistic Corps, and was deployed to Iraq.

However, Jim, who lives with his partner Jen and sons Callum and Jude, in Ford Estate, suffered from mental health problems and was medically discharged from the army.

He was taken under the wing of Help for Heroes during his road to recovery from physical and mental wounds.

And keen to give something back, the 35-year-old has organised a fundraising bike ride along Hadrian’s Wall, which he has called the Emperor Bike Ride.

The physical benefits of exercise are well known but it is also a massive help for your mental state of mind

Jim Holborn

Joining him will be several other veterans, staff members and volunteers.

Participants are now training for the two-day, 100-mile challenge on April 29 and 30.

After winning two bronze medals in last year’s Warrior Games, Jim realised how important a role exercise plays in recovery. He is hoping wounded veterans completing the Emperor Bike Ride will similarly benefit.

“The physical benefits of exercise are well known, but it is also a massive help for your mental state of mind,” he added.

“For me, it is an escape from all the negative thoughts going around my head.”

To take part in the ride, or joining the group for just the second day – at a reduced sign-up fee – email co-organiser and volunteer david.routledge@h4hcounty.org.uk.