For injured soldiers, life can be pretty tough as we all know. The journey to recovery can be very long and often lonely.
We were very honoured to meet Dan, a 23 year old soldier who was injured on operations and is now a resident at a Personnel Recovery Centre (PRC). These facilites are focused on aiding the recovery of those who are injured or long-term sick.
Having spent some time chatting to Dan about the problems he is facing and about his future, it was obvious that his injuries weren't the only difficulties he is experiencing. Financial problems are very common amongst service personnel who are paid very little for the job they do. Dan is no exception.
The facilities at the PRC are outstanding however, the evenings are very bleak sometimes for Dan who, like anyone, enjoys his own personal space and time occassionally. After a short shopping trip we were back with Dan to present him with his own TV/DVD, stereo system and vouchers to buy some new clothes. These items may seem almost mundane and minor to most of us but imagine being without them.........
Dan was absolutely thrilled and enjoyed the confidence boost from going shopping the next day for new clothes (something he had been unable to do for a long time) and can now enjoy watching a film or listening to his CDs in the privacy of his own room - a place that now feels a little more like home.
Whilst visiting Dan, we met a friend of his who was terribly injured in a motorcycle accident 3 years ago. We were saddened to hear he was facing similiar problems. Needless to say, he also has a new TV/DVD and an iPod dock to enjoy his music on.
These things are not essential. They are not life-changing but, they can make a huge difference to the recipients who are now able to look forward to a bit of 'me time', a bit of space to relax and be themselves.
Both Dan and his friend are doing brilliantly and are making plans for their future!