The Resilience Sessions

The Resilience Sessions is a podcast that brings together injured veterans from Blesma, the Limbless Veterans Charity, and a well-known public figures to share their stories of facing challenges of all kinds. Through these conversations our guests chat to one another about their experiences, sharing how they have navigated their ups and downs, finding often surprising common ground, demonstrating that what is most personal is often most universal

We're delighted to be back for a second series, featuring a stellar line up of guests; Emily Dean & Darren Swift, Kriss Akabusi & Mat Armitage, Steve Swanson & Jack Cummings, Judith Owen & Stephan Van Niekirk, Billy Billingham & Al Krol, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton & Josh Boggi, as well as a bonus episode with our presenters Alice Driver & Stewart Harris.

The Resilience Sessions grew out of the Making Generation R campaign, which has trained injured veterans to tell their inspirational stories to over 100,000 front line workers, first responders and young people, and aims to create a generation of resilient people. 

We hope you are as moved and enthralled  by these stories as we are. 


Listen and subscribe using the links below

Bonus Episode - Alice & Stew

Hannah Whittingham, the producer of The Resilience Sessions speaks to presenters Alice Driver, founder of the Making Generation R programme, and Stewart Harris, veteran and Making Generation R speaker.

As well as picking out their most poignant and memorable moments from the series, they chat about the Making Generation R programme behind The Resilience Sessions, the impact telling his story has had on Stewart, and about the work of Blesma, The Limbless Veterans charity who fund the podcast, and The Drive Project who deliver it.

Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Josh Boggi Series 2 #006

We talk to Chief Fire Officer and psychologist Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, and veteran and cyclist Josh Boggi, who lost both his legs and an arm in an IED explosion serving in Afghanistan. We discuss identity, refusing to be pigeon-holed, experiencing homelessness, human error, dark humour, and Invictus Games medals.

Billy Billingham MBE and Alex Krol Series 2 #005

We talk to former SAS leader and SAS: Who Dares Wins man, Billy Billingham MBE , and veteran and pilot Al Krol, who was left paralysed from the waist down following a motorbike accident. With this dynamic duo we talked about endurance, self-belief, determination, family, and the importance of always going 'a little bit further'.

Judith Owen and Stephan Van Nierkerk Series 2 #004

We talk to singer and comedienne Judith Owen, and veteran Stephan Van Niekerk, who lost his legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. Together we chatted about childhood instability, the power of music, laughing, mental health, and the importance of asking for help.

Steve Swanson & Jack Cummings - Series 2 #003

This week we talk to former NASA astronaut and Commander of the ISS Steve Swanson, and veteran Jack Cummings, who lost his legs after an IED explosion in Afghanistan. With this extraordinary duo we chatted about hard work, the importance of failure, fitness for mental health, “striving for mediocrity”, and the shifts in perspective enormous life events can bring.

Kriss Akabusi & Mat Armitage - Series 2 #002

This week we talk to Olympian, TV personality, and owner of the best laugh in show biz, Kriss  Akabusi MBE, and Blesma veteran and free-runner Mat Armitage, who lost his leg following a  motorbike accident. We discussed childhood experiences, stealing dinghies, magical thinking,  determination, squaddie humour, and the wider impact of the ability to emotionally disconnect.  

Emily Dean & Darren Swift - Series 2 #001

This week we talk to broadcaster and author Emily Dean, and Blesma veteran Darren Swift, who lost both his legs after a coffee jar bomb explosion serving in Northern Ireland. Together we discussed unconventional childhoods, forming a sense of self, dealing with grief, making people laugh, and the clarity of life that can be found around death.

Ray & Ken - Episode #006

Ray and Ken discuss the values and experiences that have shaped them and where they have found resilience and strength when they have needed it. Both men talk about the importance of family, the role their children have played in motivating and inspiring them, and the value of the little things in life – whether that's a conversation, or simply a cup of tea.

Vick & Shaun - Episode #005

Vick and Shaun discuss their upbringings, families and how both went abroad at the age of 19 to have experiences that would change their lives in very different ways. Both agree on the importance of talking, of sharing problems openly, and using their platforms for good.


Michael & Mark - Episode #004

Celebrity chef and hotelier Michael Caines talks with Mark Ormrod, who was serving with the Royal Marines in Afghanistan when he sustained life-changing injuries and became the UK’s first triple-amputee to survive that conflict. Mark and Michael, who lost an arm in a road traffic accident early in his career reflect on the importance of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity, and highlight how work and activity provided them with the focus and drive they needed to carry on.

Tanni & Nerys - Episode #003

Tanni and Nerys discuss their upbringings, shared Welsh roots, and their mutual love of and commitment to sport. They talk about the everyday prejudice they can experience as wheelchair users, as well as the humour and resilience they have employed to deal with this. Both talk about the need to reflect on one’s achievements, and share lessons on how anyone can make change happen.

Jonny & Stewart - Episode #002

Jonny Benjamin and Stewart Harris share their stories and experiences of mental health, up to and beyond the moments that both men tried to end their own lives. They share the many things they are grateful for, celebrate each other’s achievements, and swap some practical tips on how to build resilience and develop mental wellbeing.

Carol & Si - Episode #001

Carol Vorderman and Si Harmer discuss their struggles, motivations and how they have found resilience in their own lives. They talk about the importance of gratitude and positivity, how to navigate the complex world of social media, and reflect on how their children bring richness to their lives.

The Making of The Resilience Sessions

Watch the video below to see all that's coming up for this podcast series.


The Resilience Sessions has been inspired by Making Generation R – a campaign which aims to create a generation of resilient people across the U.K. The series is brought to you by Blesma, the limbless veterans charity, and is based on an original idea by Si Harmer and Alice Driver, the host. The Resilience Sessions are produced by The Drive Project and supported by Facebook. 

Help & Support

If you've been affected by any of the issues raised in our podcasts, you can find details of organisations  that offer advice and support here