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Blesma’s Resilience Sessions podcast returns

Blesma’s Resilience Sessions podcast returns


14 Dec, 2020

The Resilience Sessions podcast, which brings together injured veterans and public figures in candid and inspirational conversation, is returning for its second series …

In this new series, broadcasters Kriss Akabusi MBE and Emily Dean share their stories of overcoming adversity in frank and open conversations with military personnel who have dealt with life-changing injuries.

The Resilience Sessions grew from the Making Generation R campaign, which trained members of Blesma, The Limbless Veterans to tell their incredible stories of overcoming adversity to 100,000 frontline workers, first responders and young people. The first series in 2019 garnered more than 15,000 downloads.

The opening episode of the new series features BBC Radio 2 broadcaster and author Emily Dean in conversation with Darren Swift (aka Swifty), a former soldier who lost both his legs when he was hit by an IRA bomb in Northern Ireland when he was 26 years old.

In the episode, which is available from 9 December, also Emily talks openly about the loss of both parents and her sister in a three-year period, how she faced grief and built the resilience to cope.

In the second episode, released on 15 December, Kriss Akabusi – a world champion and Olympic athlete – discusses with Blesma member Mat Armitage his own early life in foster care and how he achieved a stellar track career. Mat (who features in our main picture, above) himself lost his leg following a motorbike accident but recovered to become a free runner.

‘Our members have been through hugely traumatic experiences and had to deal with life-changing injuries and all their effects,’ says Jon Bryant, chief executive of Blesma, which supports veterans who have suffered limb or eye loss. ‘The members taking part in the programme all want to help others to develop the same sort of resilience that they have had to.

‘As well as presenting their stories to schools, colleges, hospitals and the emergency services, a number of Blesma members have had the opportunity to discuss them with public figures in the Resilience Session podcasts. These well-known personalities have stories of their own, and the benefits of sharing these are huge. We are very grateful to all those who have agreed to tell us how they have developed their own resilience to life’s adversities.’

Alice Driver, presenter of the podcast and founder of The Drive Project, who devised the programme of the Resilience Sessions, continues: ‘The podcasts are inspirational and you feel like you are part of the conversation between two individuals who have been through tough challenges but have come out the other end and are able to talk about how they did it.

‘They are not preaching; they are revealing what worked for them. We had some amazing feedback from the first series, particularly from schoolteachers, who said it was really positive for their pupils. The podcasts show there is so much common ground no matter what challenges are in front of us, and that we can come through it and be OK.’

The series, which continues with a new episode every week throughout January, will also feature NASA astronaut and commander of the International Space Station Steve Swanson, singer and comedienne Judith Owen, chief fire officer and psychologist Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, and former SAS officer Billy Billingham MBE, who stars in the hit TV adventure series Who Dares Wins.

Click here to listen to the podcast or watch it on the Resilience Sessions YouTube channel

For more about the work of Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, click here


About the Resilience Sessions

The Resilience Sessions is a podcast that brings together injured veterans from Blesma, The Limbless Veterans charity, with well-known public figures to share their stories of overcoming struggles of all kinds. The podcast grew out of the Making Generation R campaign, a project that trains injured veterans from Blesma, The Limbless Veterans to share their incredible stories of overcoming adversity with schools and workplaces across the UK. To date, Making Generation R has inspired more than 100,000 young people, frontline workers and first responders.

The podcast is funded by charity Blesma, The Limbless Veterans and delivered by The Drive Project, an award-winning creative social enterprise.

For more information, please email

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