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Charity The Not Forgotten hosts River Spey canoe challenge for wounded ex-forces veterans


By Lorna Thompson

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SIXTEEN former military personnel living with a range of injuries and illnesses tested their powers of endurance during a charity-organised River Spey canoeing expedition last week.

The veterans, some with amputations, others living with PTSD and depression, canoed more than 100km of the river between September 20-24.

The morale-boosting challenge was hosted by The Not Forgotten, a British Armed Forces charity for serving and ex-military personnel.

Both male and female veterans signed up for the five-day respite and challenge activity break which saw them row between 9-24km each day.

The Not Forgotten was set up to provide entertainment and recreation, including activity and adventure breaks, for wounded service personnel and veterans.

After their adrenalin-filled days canoeing, the veterans stayed at Badaguish Forest Lodges at Aviemore.

Royal Navy veteran Crissie said: "It's fantastic. Challenging, testing, but achievable."

The 16-strong group of British veterans on a River Spey canoeing expedition last week.
The 16-strong group of British veterans on a River Spey canoeing expedition last week.
Ex-military personnel, some with amputations, others with PTSD and depression, covered 100km of the River Spey by canoe.
Ex-military personnel, some with amputations, others with PTSD and depression, covered 100km of the River Spey by canoe.

Rosie Thompson, head of events at The Not Forgotten, said: "This challenge and activity break is one of the most exhilarating events in our calendar and truly encapsulates our motto, 'From Comradeship to Challenge'.

"We had a fantastic group on this trip who all engaged in timeless banter and inter-service rivalry at its best.

"All those who attend relish the challenge, which helps them to set greater personal goals, encourages socialisation and helps our beneficiaries to overcome their fears and doubts about their capabilities.

"There is almost always an immediate improvement in their outlook and confidence as they realise that they can participate in challenging activities, despite their injury or illness.

"Taking on such physical and mental challenges renews enthusiasm and encourages our beneficiaries in other aspects of their lives, including personal and family relationships."

Serving or ex-members of the Armed Forces or those who know of someone who could benefit from the charity's help can get in touch with The Not Forgotten by phoning 0207 730 2400.



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