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Latest News 25 July 2018

High five for Blesma Week as it proves a success once more

No challenge was too tough in early June as Members, supporters and volunteers all went the extra mile (or 100!) to support the fifth Blesma Week. From London to the Vale of York, the Association’s annual week of fundraising and awareness raising sparked a range of events from running and cycling, to cake baking and soul dancing. The week, which this year ran from 28 May to 03 June, saw more than 138 cyclists collectively clock up 13,800 miles, while The Northern Hub for Veterans and Military Families Research sold 100 cupcakes as part of the 100for100 Challenge. “The week has been even more meaningful this year because of the commemoration of World War One ending,” said Blesma’s Chief Executive, Barry Le Grys. “Besides raising funds for charitable work, Blesma Week has brought the Association and supporters together.” Here’s a rundown of just some of the activities that took place during this year’s Blesma Week, all of which will help reach the target of £60,000. A big thank you to everyone for your brilliant support.

Cycle 100
Blesma Member and Ambassador Jonathan Bell rallied cyclists to take part in the Blesma 100 once again this year. More than 130 riders launched Blesma Week by cycling an arduous-yet-scenic 100 miles through the Vale of York. The challenge raised an amazing £24,850 for Blesma !

This was not the only 100-mile cycle event to take place during the week. On Saturday 02 June, Members Nerys Pearce, David Sandles and Luke Delahunty joined fellow cyclists in Doncaster to take in the Sportive HQ Flat N Fast 100.

It was a challenging ride and it was pretty wet weather to start with, too. Nerys did amazingly well, seeing as the furthest she had ever cycled before this was 45 miles!

Luke Delahunty


As part of Blesma Week, the Association launched the 100for100 Challenge to mark the centenary of the end of WWI. The task was to complete 100 of any given challenge, whether that was miles running, cakes sold or minutes of silence. Blesma staff didn’t miss out on the action as staff members across the country joined together to help launch the challenge. Through the week, 22 staff members covered a total of 243 miles, smashing the original 100 mile target! Meanwhile, in Newcastle, The Northern Hub for Veterans and Military Families Research successfully sold 100 cupcakes in just two hours at Northumbria University, raising more than £100. Jennifer Hawes, who is the wife of Blesma Member Chris, also took on a 100for100 baking challenge and attempted to sell 100 cookies and cakes at her workplace

TFL Collections
Thanks to the incredible support of Transport for London, Blesma had a large presence at Canary Wharf and Kings Cross tube stations, with a collection at each station during Blesma Week. A troop of 50 volunteers kindly gave up their time to shake their buckets and raise £8,613.75.

BIG BBK Bake Off
As well as being a Blesma Week Silver sponsor and lending a hand with the TfL bucket collections, staff from Bolt Burdon Kemp organised a Bake Off challenge and brought along their own Paul and Prue to judge the best bake. “The team organised the Big BBK Bake Off and bake sale to raise funds, and our very own Paul and Prue deliberated on the winner and runner-up. Then the cakes went on sale to the rest of the firm, raising more than £80,” said Claire Withey, senior solicitor at BBK. “Members of the military team also took part in bucket collections at Kings Cross tube station to tempt happy commuters to part with their spare change!”

Burpees for Blesma
Sailors on board HMS Dragon took part in a ‘Burpees for Blesma’ challenge, organised by leading physical trainer James Johnson. For £1, anyone on board could buy a ticket of 10 burpees and nominate someone to complete them. The challenge proved popular, raising almost £250.

Hollie's cross fit hero workout challenge
On Saturday 02 June, Hollie Shirley, the granddaughter of a WWII double amputee who served as part of the crew of a Lancaster Bomber, completed an epic CrossFit Hero workout of the day challenge. Hollie completed the ‘Murph’ workout, which was created by US Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. The workout is made up of a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 squats, before finishing with another one-mile run. 

Ruby Hines walk with Andy Grant
Warminster School student Ruby Hines rounded off Blesma Week with a 20km sponsored walk along Basingstoke Canal with Blesma Member Andy Grant.  The 13 year old chose to fundraise for Blesma as part of her Foundation Project Qualification, which encourages students to complete a project on one of their interests. “My mum is a mental health nurse in the Army and has connections with Blesma Members,” Ruby said. “She looked after Andy when he was first injured and they kept in contact, so I invited him to walk with me. On the day we decided to turn our 10km walk into 20km. It took about four hours, but it was a great day.” Ruby raised £1,055 for Blesma, smashing her £500 target in just a week!

Soul Night

The East Lancs Soul Club held a Soul Night at Blackburn Golf Club, and raised £175. The club is raising funds all year and has raised almost £500 so far.

Thank you to our Silver sponsors

Bolt Burdon Kemp, GardaWorld, Marbank Construction, Military Mutual and Blackstone Consultancy.


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