A group of 30 veterans from the UK and the US are taking part in a 120-mile cycling challenge – which will visit Burnham-On-Sea next week – to aid their rehabilitation after injury.
The event, named SR UK, will pass through various points of the Wiltshire and Somerset countryside including Burnham-On-Sea on Monday October 5th when the cyclists will ride to Wells.
Members of Blesma, The Limbless Veterans and The Wounded Warrior Project, will cycle on average 30 miles per day over five days starting and ending in a different place each day. The activity serves as a chance for them to regain confidence in their abilities, improve their fitness and recapture a sense of camaraderie they may feel they have lost since leaving the military.
The riders will be passing through Swindon, Marlborough, Burnham-On-Sea, Wells, Malmesbury, Bradford-on-Avon, Longleat Estate and Salisbury.
The final day will see the riders start at Bushey Park in London and finish the week at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, where they will be greeted by the Chelsea Pensioners.
Jonathan Bell is one of four riders who will be completing the week’s routes on a hand-bike. He was paralysed from the chest down in a military training accident while serving with The Green Howards.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to SR UK next week. I’m expecting the cycling to be challenging, but that’s part of the fun! I’m also keen to catch up with other Blesma members and make some new American friends.”
Barry Le Grys MBE, Chief Executive of Blesma, added: “SR UK is a highlight in the Blesma Activities Programme. It is a tough cycle over five days, through two counties and London, to end at The Royal Hospital Chelsea. We really enjoy hosting the injured Veterans from the US. A unique fellowship is built. The Ride is aimed at promoting the subjective, psychological and social well-being of the injured. For the participants it is a moving experience, even life changing. It is a memorable journey for families and volunteers too and we appreciate their support greatly.”
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless service men and women, their widows and dependants. It was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932.