Top fundraisers and volunteers for Help for Heroes were championed at the charitys annual Hero Awards for the huge difference they make to the lives of those who have become wounded, injured or sick in the line of duty and their families.
The awards are treated as the ‘Victoria Cross’ at the charity and took place at Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, Tedworth House, in Wiltshire last Friday. Launched in 2010 by H4H co-founders Bryn and Emma Parry, the awards are a way of celebrating and saying thank you to extraordinary supporters for voluntarily going above and beyond and giving up their time to assist the charity in delivering lifelong support to wounded heroes. The night was full of emotion as volunteers and fundraisers heard first-hand from H4H ambassadors about how much they appreciated and were overwhelmed by the passion and capacity of the general public to demonstrate their support for the nation’s heroes. Throughout the evening, 35 awards were handed out with categories including Outstanding Fundraising and Commitment, Services Above and Beyond the Call of Duty and Extraordinary Bravery and Dedication to Help for Heroes.
The awards were presented to the winners by wounded men and women who have benefitted first-hand from the efforts of supporters. Bryn Parry, H4H co-founder, said: “The Hero Awards are our way of recognising and saying thank you to our generous supporters for their truly outstanding support and contribution to the charity. The dedication and commitment of our supporters never ceases to both amaze and humble me. “Their limitless enthusiasm to do their bit for the blokes is incredibly valuable and really does make a difference in helping us with our mission to provide lifelong support to our wounded, injured and sick.” Paul Foley was presented with the Outstanding Fundraising award. In 2011, Paul’s son, Lee, who was serving in the Royal Engineers in Tidworth, was killed when he was hit by a car on New Year’s Eve. Since 2012, Paul and friend Michelle Galleozzie, have held events in aid of H4H and raised £25,000. “Had my son survived his accident, he would be relying on H4H for his recovery so to raise funds for this charity is a cause close to my heart,” Paul explained. “I was humbled and shocked to win this award, it gave me a really special feeling. I am grateful to everyone who supported events we organised and I will continue to raise money for this extraordinary charity in the future.” H4H ambassador, Jamie Hull, presented the awards alongside Emma Parry. In August 2007, Jamie was involved in a training accident piloting a light aircraft. Jamie suffered horrendous injuries, including 60 percent third-degree burns and partially paralysed feet. Following six months in intensive care in the USA, Jamie had to effectively rebuild his life; including learning to walk again. He commented: “Our fundraisers and volunteers are an extraordinary group of people, and are often the “unsung heroes” as they work tirelessly, day in and day out, to raise much needed money for our heroes. The charity would not be here without them.”