A former soldier from Sunderland has been hitting new heights, thanks to Help for Heroes.
Scott Geering was among a group of wounded veterans who took part in a series of outdoor activities, funded by the charity.
For the past two years, different beneficiaries from Help for Heroes’ northern Recovery Centre - Phoenix House in Catterick - have enjoyed a residential trip to the Calvert Trust outdoor activities centre in the Lake District.
The visits form part of a structured programme designed by Phoenix House to boost the confidence of injured former service personnel by encouraging them to try new activities.
Scott was a tank transporter driver with the Royal Logistics Corps whose career ended abruptly when he was left with a brain injury following a road traffic accident.
The 38-year- old is paralysed down one side of his body but is determined to live as independently as possible and said his trip to the Calvert Trust just before Easter really helped.
I loved it, I liked everything I did. It put my mind at rest, enabled me to let my hair down, be myself and chill.Scott Geering
“I loved it, I liked everything I did,” said Scott who lives in the East End.
“It put my mind at rest, enabled me to let my hair down, be myself and chill.
“The staff were kind, courteous and helpful and I can’t wait to go back.”
So far, more than 50 Help for Heroes beneficiaries have spent four days on the edge of Bassenthwaite, enjoying challenging outdoor activities, including sailing, canoeing, climbing and hill walking, in a specialised environment that can cater for significant injuries and disabilities.
Rob Hood, Physical Development Manager at Phoenix House, said the suitability of the activities organised by the Calvert Trust was not just that they accommodated any physical limitations that a participant might have but that they stretched and challenged everyone.
“This way, individuals firstly overcome their reservations and then realise what they are capable of doing, rather than feeling they are being held back by their disabilities or injuries,” he said.
“At Help for Heroes, we aim to ‘inspire, enable and support’ and these sort of experiences are a perfect way of doing this.”
The Calvert Trust’s Justin Farnan said: “We know that the experience of doing exciting activities in a residential setting can really make a difference in building confidence and independence for those who may be facing significant challenges in their daily lives.
“Unsurprisingly it is an amazing and rewarding place to work, seeing the difference just a few days in a new and challenging environment can make”
The next visit by Help for Heroes beneficiaries will be in November.
*If you want to support Help for Heroes, either by fundraising or volunteering, or if you are a wounded, sick or injured veteran who needs support, find out more by visiting http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/ and clicking on Give Support or Get Support.