IT is one thing to feel inspired by the servicemen and women putting their lives on the line in war zones, even more so when their unfailing dedication and bravery costs them life and limb.
But to be so inspired you feel the need to give something back to them is quite another.
Father-of-two Will Pearson, from Chichester, has signed up to a gruelling cycle from Salisbury to London in an effort to raise ‘as much money as possible’ in a bid to rebuild the lives of injured service personnel.
“I have registered with the Help For Heroes Dawn Raid bike ride in early June, aiming to raise a considerable amount of money to help the charity with the very valuable service it provides to our wounded servicemen and servicewomen,” said Will.
“A large number of personnel suffer appalling life-changing injuries that affect them and their families.
“However, many of these brave people then go on to demonstrate immense courage and resolve in the way they adapt to their new situation and as we have seen with the recent Paralympics, some of them achieve fantastic sporting success.
“The Help For Heroes organisation plays a massive part in helping these people with their rehabilitation and provides wonderful support and encouragement to them.
“This service consumes a vast amount of money and the charity relies heavily on voluntary financial support from the public through various fundraising schemes to pay for this.”
Now, the 57-year-old, who lives in Chichester with partner Sue, is training in readiness for his epic challenge. An accountant by profession, the keen sports fan currently works for a newly-formed veterinary group.
Will added: “I just want to help support these brave people!
“It was probably the Paralympics that helped to inspire me to join this ride. That event helped to demonstrate just how much the wounded service people have suffered in the course of serving our country.
“This particular challenge is a 100-mile ‘gentle’ pedal from the Help For Heroes Recovery Centre at Tedworth House, just outside Salisbury, to Blackheath, London where we (about 250 riders) rendezvous with about 1,000 other riders from various distant locations.
“We all then ride en masse into central London and finish at the Cenotaph for a small ceremony.
“There will be many wounded men and women taking part in these challenges, again demonstrating just how courageous they are.”
For more on Help for Heroes and Will’s fundraising events, see this week’s Observer (April 10).
To sponsor Will, go to bmycharity website