Bravery of the wounded

WALKING with the Wounded is MINT Polo In the Park’s official charity this year and the company is excited to raise funds for the deserving cause, which gives much-needed help to re-train and re-skill wounded servicemen and women from the British Armed Forces.

MINT Polo in the Park’s Organisers are hoping to raise £25,000 for the military charity with a silent auction at the event and donations from ticket sales at the Kids’ Zone play area where £1 will be given for every entrant.

Walking with the Wounded was founded by Ed Parker and Simon Daglish – both ex-servicemen – in 2010 and continues to support go from strength to strength.

More recently it hit the headlines for its ground-breaking expedition in April which saw four wounded serviceman walk to the North Pole unsupported, with HRH Prince Harry of Wales (Pictured, right) for company, who is a patron of the charity.

“What an amazing experience,” said the prince after completing four days of the trip, adding of the group. “I’m very pleased to be back but all the credit goes to the lads who have weeks more of trekking to get to the North Pole. Their strength, motivation and stamina is out of this world.”

Indeed. The challenge was an arduous task and saw the team – which totalled seven – trek 200 miles at 90 degrees north in temperatures of minus 38 degrees celsius. Winds, meanwhile, hit an average of 50 miles per hour. (They also had to avoid Polar Bears along the way, but still survived.)

The troop was guided by Polar expert Inge Solheim and guide Henry Cookson. It included four servicemen; Captain Guy Disney whose right leg below the knee was amputated after being ambushed in an operation; Sergeant Steve Young, who fractured his vertebrae severely in Afghanistan; Private Jaco Van Gass a soldier who suffered an amputated left arm after a grenade explosion, and Sergeant Martin Hewitt, who’s right arm was paralysed after a shooting.

Those curious to see equipment from the expedition will be in for an treat, as some of the team will be on hand at the Polo to demonstrate kit that was used, and maybe, even, sign the odd autograph. (Expect queues, so turn up early.)

Hewitt’s message after the trip summed up the mood of the charity:

“Some say there is a good reason why no disabled person has ever walked to the North Pole unsupported,” he said. “I don’t like being told something can’t be done.

I instantly thought, that’s it, the challenge is on.”

For further information on Walking with the Wounded, see: http://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk/