A BROMSGROVE-based accountant who lives in Droitwich has set out on an inspiring fund-raising mission to help with the rehabilitation of injured war veterans.
Mark Withington, of Corbett Street, will be flying out to Klosters, in Switzerland, this March as a volunteer Ski Buddy a part of the Skiing With Heroes scheme.
The project helps ex-Iraq and Afghanistan campaign soldiers’ recovery and aid them to get back into work.
Mark needs to raise £1,000 before his trip – the money will pay for one of the 22 veterans to take part, giving them access to a range of specialist instructors who will help with their recovery through adaptive skiing and physiotherapy.
The week has been designed to get the ball rolling for those taking part with intensive rehabilitation – some have never been skiing and others have not been out of their homes for months due to post traumatic stress disorders or after coming to terms with being an amputee.
In previous years the programme has been really successful leading to one blind veteran, who took part, becoming qualified for the Paralympics in skiing, another participated recently in the Invictus Games.
So far Mark has raised £748 but he is aiming to raise much more for the charity so he can donate funds to one of its project to build a Pain Management Centre.
The 43-year-old will arrive at the ski resort with a group of 24 others a day before the veterans to train and get to know and appreciate some of the difficulties faced by some injured soldiers.
Mark will learn what it is like skiing on one ski, in a sit ski and will even be blindfolded.
After the trip volunteers will continue to be their buddies helping them to finish the programme and get back into work.
Mark, from Kenneth Morris Accountants in Bromsgrove, said his workplace had always been supportive of his ski obsession which allowed him to gain alpine and adaptive ski instructing qualifications.
He added for the past two years, he had helped take children with learning disabilities and youngsters with conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy to Tamworth Snowdome for an afternoon, once a month, to experience skiing.
Mark said he first saw volunteers were needed for the Skiing With Heroes project, to help assist wounded servicemen and women, on Facebook.
“I jumped at the chance to challenge myself further and give something back especially as this year is the 100th anniversary since World War One – cheesy I know, but true.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/Mark-Withington or text MWSH99 followed by the donation amount – £1,2,3,4,5 or 10 to 70070 to help Mark reach his target.