Inspiring in that a small group of people came up with an idea to set it right: they encouraged others to hold fund raisers and made enough money for a new pool for the soldiers. Now, they've raised enough for a new pool, and are looking at other ways to help their troops.
Personally, I'd like to get a regiment of Paras down to the community pool previously mentioned for a chili cook-off and binge drinking contest, where they could expel whatever they want into the pool.
Last October, Emma and I, together with a small team of friends, decided to do something practical to help the wounded coming back from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The original idea was to raise £500,000 by doing a bike ride. Our offer of help was welcomed by General Sir Richard Dannatt who directed us to Headley Court, the Rehabilitation Centre, where they urgently need a new swimming pool and gym complex.
Our non political appeal for help was heard by thousands and a simple idea grew into a tidal wave of support. As a very small team we were unable to lay on many fund raising events ourselves so the ethos has been to ask everyone to ‘do their bit’, to lay on an event and send us the money. That simple approach and the very obvious need has caught the imagination of thousands of ordinary, decent people and I am delighted to say that with the help of Royalty, Celebrities, the Armed Forces and The Media, we have received over £8 million so far. The first £6 million is put aside for the pool complex, the plans are submitted and by next year, the wounded will have their own pool.
The RFU has given us Twickenham Stadium on the 20th September this year. The Legends of rugby have agreed to play in a once in a life time match. We will see the great turn out in Help for Heroes shirts; Dallaglio, Johnson, Gibbs, Greenwood, Lomu, Phil de Glanville, Ieuan Evans and many more, as well as the stars from the three services and other top players. It will be a great day and, here is the point of this, if we can fill HQ, that is 82,000 seats, we can make £1Million for H4H and that will all go to the wounded.