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100 Santas on motorbikes raise funds for wounded veterans

Photo credit: Vale Moto Training/Help for Heroes

As the nation eagerly awaits the return of Gavin and Stacey to our TV screens this Christmas, more than 100 men and women took to the road in festive fancy dress for a sponsored motorcycle ride on a scenic route from Llandow to Barry Island in aid of Help for Heroes.

Staff and supporters from Vale Moto Training raised over £650 in the annual Charity Ride Out, which raised money for the military charity for the first time this year.

Photo credit: Vale Moto Training/Help for Heroes

Jo Davey runs the business with her husband Steve, and chose to hold the event in aid of Help for Heroes because several of her team are ex-police officers, with an affinity for the Armed Forces, and many of their trainees are based at RAF St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan. She said, “We were thrilled to support Help for Heroes this year, as we know about the amazing work they do to support men and women from all the armed forces when they are injured or sick as a result of their service.”

Her husband Steve joined three other participants visiting Help for Heroes Community Recovery team, based in Treforest, to find out about the support the charity delivers in Wales. “It’s great to see that the charity works with men and women here in Wales, so they get the right support where and when they need it.”

Help for Heroes Fellowship Coordinator Mark Reed (left) and Community Receovery Manager Shelley Elgin (right) meet Steve Davey, Simon Smith, Samuel Massey and Derek Dew from Vale Moto Training

Community Recovery Manager Shelley Elgin said, “We are very grateful to anyone who takes time to support our wounded veterans and serving personnel. Thanks to their incredible generosity we are able to deliver services across Wales and Hereford, in leisure centres and community hubs, where men and women can take part in sports or creative activities, get 1-2-1 advice or clinical advocacy, make friends, and begin living life with purpose again.”

Bruce Falkenberg in rugby wheelchair

This year, Army Veteran Bruce Falkenberg from Maesteg was grant funded a specially adapted wheelchair by Help for Heroes and Blesma. Bruce had both legs amputated below the knee as a result of his injuries while serving in Iraq, but through Help for Heroes Community Sports Recovery Programme, he’s now able to take part in adaptive sports activities. Bruce’s message to those who support Help for Heroes this Christmas is: “This is where your money goes, this is life-changing. As small as you think it is, for me, this is huge. You are changing the lives of many, many veterans out there. They can see that you care, and from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to say thank you to you all, for getting me where I am now.”