High Wycombe MP joins Defence Secretary for wheelchair presentation to injured veterans
The MP for High Wycombe joined Defence Secretary for a wheelchair presentation to injured veterans on Tuesday 12th July 2022.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, the Minister of State for Veterans’ Affairs Johnny Mercer MP and Steve Baker MP joined The OppO Foundation three custom-built sports wheelchairs to injured veterans. The presentation took place at Ambassadeurs Group in Mayfair on Tuesday 12th July 2022.
Rob Bugden, Chris Anslow and Dave Anderson received the life-changing equipment, which was bought with a £25,000 donation from the Ambassadeurs Group (AG).
None of the recipients knew about the presentations prior to the event and the surprise announcement was made as the evening unfolded.
Rob is involved in rugby coaching and has been to the veteran games, Chris trains with Team GB’s volleyball squad and Dave competed in Wheelchair Rugby at the Invictus Games.
Ben Wallace said: ‘It’s one thing to say you support veterans and it’s a completely different thing to actually do something about it.
The OppO Foundation and Team OppO is all about converting that support into reality for our veterans.
It’s been brilliant to see in action some of the support that’s been given, and I can’t thank any of you enough for coming here and contributing by being here to support our veterans.
The privilege of being defence secretary is that I have the responsibility of the before, during and after of our personnel, the men and women of our armed forces.
If all these foundations and charities do anything it is to advertise that veterans are really valuable to your work, to your society and to your sport and your country and if you value your veterans you value your country.
Thank you very much to OppO, it’s been fantastic.‘
Speaking after the event, Chris Anslow said: ‘When the Minister for Defence randomly says your name you’re either in trouble or getting an amazing surprise.
I thought I was coming to help you guys out by promoting recovery through sport, and I end up with a gift that will enable me to get the very most out of my training and therefore performance, and that will only lead to me having the best possible chance of making the GB volleyball team.
I’ve been struggling with local authorities for so long to try and get funding for a chair so it’s literally like winning the lottery for me, it will be life changing, and also a massive weight off my mind. And that’s all thanks to you guys.‘
Kayam Iqbal, founder of The OppO Foundation charity which organised the event and the donations, said: ‘Each of these wheelchairs costs around £7,000 and they genuinely change the lives of the recipients.
It was a very emotional evening, especially as those receiving the chairs had no idea about the donation.
Donating wheelchairs to veterans with a sporting goal is a clear way of making a difference. Working with AG, which is focused on building better futures, to deliver on this goal has helped accelerate the ambitions of Team OppO, the OppO Foundation project which focuses on veterans who are using sports in their recovery.
Thank you to the Ambassadeurs group for supporting the work of The OppO Foundation.‘
The donations were made as part of Team OppO – the foundation’s project to support a large number of injured veterans wishing to use sports as a way of recovery.
The five injured veterans will use the wheelchairs in their quest to compete at elite level sports and hopefully the Paralympic Games.
Tracy Damestani, head of Corporate Affairs at AG, said: ‘We knew we had similar objectives [to The OppO Foundation] and we aligned ourselves.
We wanted to make a difference and we wanted to be innovative, but we wanted to make sure it made a real difference.‘
The Royal Air Force Queen’s Colour Squadron and the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment performed at the start of the evening, while the London String Quartet later on.
Anyone wishing to support the ongoing campaign for specialist sporting equipment to be presented to veterans can do so by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teamoppo.
Further information about The OppO Foundation can be found on their website at https://www.theoppofoundation.com/.
*Source of article : Press release on behalf of The OppO Foundation.