|The Pilgrim Bandits|
Many of you will know that our latest pup is named Bandit (you can follow him on Twitter too!).
He is named in honour of a fantastic charity - The Pilgrim Bandits. You will notice that every Bandit update Blog will carry the Pilgrim Bandit banner, as above.
Our last pup, Sear was named in honour of a retiring Chief Superintendant who was Commander of Operations & was in charge of the Dog Section when he retired.
It's a great honour for us having a pup who's been named in honour of someone or something. Although, it gives us a little extra pressure to make sure the pup makes it!! It will be great if Sear gets his license & then goes on to have a really successful career, as it will continue the legacy of Superintendant Sear for a few extra years.
We'll be hoping for the same with Bandit. It's not only a great honour to have Bandit, having been named after such a fantastic Charity, but it's also a fantastic way to get the Charity a little extra exposure. Police Dog jobs get some good press coverage, certainly locally, so having PD 'Pilgrim' Bandit in the news for a great job would be fantastic for everyone.
There's so many charities out there these days (in fact I'm working on putting something together myself in the not to distant future!), added to the fact we are continually bombarded for donations - it's hard to know who to support.
This week's Children In Need TV show raised a fantastic amount of money for Charity, which was so closely on the back of another Charity fundraising event for the Royal British Legion. Yet we are, as a whole nation, struggling day to day with a 'tough economic climate' - if I had a pound for every time David Cameron et al spouted this term I'd have raised more cash than Children In Need!!!!
The Government seem to hide behind this excuse 'tough economic climate' when making decisions on cost cutting etc, yet as a nation, the fine people of Great Britain continue to donate & raise fantastic amounts of money for Charity. We, as citizens, certainly don't hide behind the 'tough economic climate' excuse - we are at the forefront of giving & supporting our fellow citizens.
There's so many worthy causes out there to give to, & there are more and more Charities popping up, as things get tougher & tougher. You only have to look at the number of food banks popping up in the UK to realise things aren't getting any better for many people.
Sometimes, because of the number of charities & the constant requests for donations we sometimes switch off. But in doing so we can miss out on some worthwhile & fantastic Charities - non other than the Pilgrim Bandits!
We got involved in the Charity thanks to our Local Area Co-Ordinator Terry Arnett, who does a fantastic job of promoting the Charity & it's events. You can contact Terry via email.
So just who are the Pilgrim Bandits & what do they do . . .
|Local Area Co-Ordinator Terry Arnett with PD 'Pilgrim' Bandit|
"The Pilgrim Bandits will never ask for your charity… but, we will ask for your support"
The Pilgrim Bandits were started by a group of Special Forces veterans back in 2007, with the goal of helping & inspiring wounded soldiers to live life to the full.
Very often people may forget, that it's not only the physical side to an injury, but it's also the mental side which sometimes places the obstacles in front of someone. The Pilgrim Bandits help to break down those mental barriers & give soldiers the chance to enjoy life to the full.
I've got a few friends who have been & who are in the Forces, & I know that to take away their ability to chase after a goal or challenge would absolutely destroy them. They go seeking thrills, challenges & go above & beyond what any 'normal everyday' person would do. One of my good friends is a Royal Marine, a real top lad, but . . .we always joke he's a bit of a nutter!! Hey Stug?! But to take away that mental toughness, to stop them going out doing things above & beyond what a 'normal everyday' person would do, would completely destroy them. These people really do have something 'extra'.
It's not just about providing them with the medical care & attention they need to get back up to full fitness. Yes it plays a massive part, but the mental side, the things people enjoyed doing before their injuries is what makes a person.
"Our primary aim is to help those in need directly, with no compromise. Soon, those who needed help become those that give it.
How do we all do this? ...... The only way we know how ...... by pushing injured men and women into physically and mentally demanding situations that they would not have dreamed possible; climbing mountains, jumping from aircraft, running races, trekking across inhospitable terrain – and always a little further.
We push those that have already endured too much to go beyond endurance – to embrace life again and in so doing inspire others."
It's wrong to single out one person connected to the Charity or one serviceman, however one person who epitomises this mantra, to me, is Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson. People talk about Hero's or Legend's a lot - to place footballers in the same 'hero' category as this man is bonkers!
|Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson with PD 'Pilgrim' Bandit|
Ben is a Patron of the Pilgrim Bandits, & if you don't know who he is, here's a little snapshot from the Pilgrim Bandits website.
“I’m very proud to be Patron of the Pilgrim Bandits Charity.
They don’t do sympathy and when they say get up to the top of that hill you get up there as quickly as possible ” said Ben
To watch Ben carry that Olympic flame was sensational - what a true inspiration to everyone. If there's one role model our youngsters of today could follow, they wouldn't go far wrong with this man.
|Ben Parkinson carrying the Olympic torch|
As well as the 'everyday' fundraising events like dinners, attending events, stalls etc, the Pilgrims go 'a little further' in their fundraising efforts. They have the 'Pilgrim Challenges' which are also very often supported by the people who the charity has supported.
Injured servicemen & women also take part in the Pilgrim Challenges too. Here's one of the Challenges that will be done next year.
I've seen first hand what these soldiers go through when they enter back into the UK. Sarah is an Intensive Care Trauma nurse, & worked at Selly Oak & now the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital. She's looked after & cared for a lot of the soldiers who came back into the UK.
I would very often go over to Selly Oak & meet her for lunch or a coffee when she was on her breaks. I can honestly say, I'd walk around the place with a tear in my eye. It's unbelieveable what these people go through. Not just them, but their families & everyone connected with them. Some of the things I saw at Selly Oak, were enough to reduce a grown man to tears. No one should have to go through what those families do.
There's no way in this world, a parent of a 30+ year old man should have to sit there feeding their son because he's lost his arms. It's honestly heartbreaking. It brings a tear to my eye, just thinking about it.
The effect these injuries have on people is enormous. So many people are affected by the aftermath of an injured serviceman or woman, not just those injured & their families - even the nurses, Dr's & support staff who help try to rebuild their lives are affected. It can't not affect you.
And for that very reason, I'm honoured to have PD 'Pilgrim' Bandit & to have some connection with the Pilgrim Bandits. We'll be doing as much as we can to help support the Charity & also to help raise some funds for this Charity. We'll be working with our local Area Co-ordinator Terry Arnett to get some support for the Charity.
|"Always a Little Further"|
Keep your eyes peeled to Twitter - because between us & Terry Arnett there's some great things lined up!!
How much further can you go . . . .?