Council Supports The 40,000 Strong Campaign

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is supporting the 2019 Help for Heroes 40,000 Strong campaign, remembering our Armed Forces community at this time of year. 

Councillor Maureen Webber, Council Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion, has visited the Help for Heroes headquarters in Treforest as part of the Council’s on-going commitment to supporting its Armed Forces community, Past and Present. 

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council was one of the first local authorities in Wales to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant in 2012, a commitment that was reaffirmed in 2018. 

Councillor Maureen Webber, Council Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion, said: “The Council is delighted to support the wonderful work of Help for Heroes and all of its volunteers. 

“The 40,000 Strong campaign highlights the full extent and true picture of all those who have put their lives on the line for us, lives that have forever changed. We owe them so much.

“Through public support, Help for Heroes can fight to fix the gaps and improve the transition process for all wounded veterans and provide vital support to those already wounded.

“Rhondda Cynon Taf Council wishes the 40,000 Strong campaign every success.” 

Councillor Webber also took part in a Help for Heroes model-making workshop, led by Haydn Nelms and Tony Blackwell. Sessions are held at the Help for Heroes HQ on the third and fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10.30am until 1pm. All members of the Armed Forces community are welcome to attend. 

The group spend time making the models, which are kindly donated by the Models for Heroes charity

The Help for Heroes 40,000 Strong campaign highlights the approximate number of men and women who have been medically discharged from the Armed Forces over the last 20 years, their injuries ending the career they have given their life to. 

Thousands of those discharged fall through gaps in the Ministry of Defence support and Help for Heroes is on a mission to ensure all wounded veterans get the support they deserve. 

The Help for Heroes 40,000 strong campaign offers boxed sets of miniature figurines of wounded veterans to those people who donate online. Read more

The campaign involves the creation of a 40,000 strong installation of figures of ex-service personnel in Manchester’s Arndale Centre, ahead of a national tour.

Dave Watson’s life changed forever when he stepped on a hidden bomb in Afghanistan in 2010, losing both legs and an arm. He can still vividly remember the horrific details of that day.

He said: “I was on foot patrol in Helmand Province and we waded through a stream. My mate behind me slipped, and as I turned to help him I stepped on something.

“I heard a click – the next thing I knew I was being dragged out and could hear the guys telling me not to look down.”

The bomb Dave stepped on had torn off both legs and an arm. Following extensive hospital and rehabilitative treatment, he was medically discharged from the Army in 2014. Dave was learning to walk on prosthetic legs within weeks of sustaining his injuries.

Dave Watson’s remarkable story

There are 40,000 stories just like Dave’s. Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is supporting Help for Heroes in its mission to help all wounded veterans.

Shelley Elgin, Help for Heroes recovery manager for Wales and Hereford, said: “An average of seven people have been medically discharged every day since drawdown from Iraq.

“Thousands of those discharged are falling through gaps in the Ministry of Defence’s support and 70 per cent of beneficiaries we surveyed say their transition to civilian life was a negative experience.

“That’s why we’ve created our 40,000-strong model force to help show the true scale of those who have been injured in the line of duty.”

Help for Heroes believes those who serve our country deserve support when they are wounded. Every day, seven people are forced to leave the Armed Forces as a result of physical or psychological wounds – their lives changed forever.

Help for Heroes assists them, along with those still serving, to recover and get on with their lives. The organisation offers them physical, psychological, career, financial and welfare support for as long as they need it. It also supports their families and loved ones.

You too can support the 40,000 Strong campaign by donating to receive your own special edition boxed figure from the installation. Behind every figure there is a story. Visit the Help for Heroes website

Join the mission to help all wounded veterans stand strong..


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