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Latest News 1 August 2020

Blesma Member and Support Officer Paul Findlay is riding for 48 hours for Blesma and the NHS

Paul Findlay is all set to take on a 48-hour cycling challenge for NHS Heroes and War Veterans.

Former Royal Signals Corporal, Blesma Member and Support officer Paul Findlay is attempting a two-day cycling challenge this weekend, starting on Saturday at 8am.

Taking inspiration and motivation from Captain Tom Moore and five-year-old double amputee Tony Hudgell, who both raised millions for the NHS, Paul will be raising funds for the NHS Charities together and Blesma, both of which have been instrumental in his recovery.

In 2009 Paul was deployed to Afghanistan with the 19 Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) where he was unfortunately involved in an IED strike, which later resulted in the loss of his right leg.

I’m not ashamed to say that without the NHS and Blesma I wouldn’t be here

Royal Signals veteran Paul

He was medically discharged from the Army in 2012, before finding work at Barclays, and then moving on to becoming the Blesma Support Officer for London and South East.

“I’m not ashamed to say that without the NHS and Blesma I wouldn’t be here,” said Paul, who only took up cycling as a hobby during UK Lockdown. “The work the NHS did to my physical body was unbelievable and the care the NHS mental health team have given myself and friends has been remarkable. Blesma have been there from the moment I got injured to support me and my family. I see first-hand from working for Blesma the impact they make on thousands of veterans’ lives every year. I couldn’t think of two more deserving charities to do it for.” 

To finish his 48-hour mission, Paul will have to not only battle through his hate of cycling and sleep deprivation, but also the blisters, rubbing and the general impact of the exertion on his residual limb.

He will be breaking down his indoor cycling challenge, which is taking place at his home in Essex, into two hours on, two hours off shifts for the duration. Paul will begin cycling at 8:00am on Saturday and finish Monday morning at 8:00am.

“The hardest part of the challenge will be the lack of sleep but that’s something I feel many of our NHS workers have experience with, whether before or during the Covid-19 pandemic, and something our men and women in the Armed Forces experience on operations. I’m under no illusion that the first 12 hours will be quite easy and having to wake up at 2am and fight through the tiredness to get the job done will be tough.” 

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