Unlikely allies in inspiration
Military Charity Blesma, The Limbless Veterans recently launched an exciting six-part podcast called The Resilience Sessions. Each episode features compelling in-depth and honest conversations between injured veterans and celebrity guests. The series discusses resilience, mental health and overcoming hardship …
Veterans who have been injured have come together with public figures to share their stories of the tragedies and obstacles they’ve faced, and to discuss how they have moved forward to lead happy and fulfilled lives.
The podcast series featurescompelling in-depth interviews that bring to light the life-changing and affirming experiences of veterans who have suffered devastating injuries, and the unknown personal struggles of celebrity guests who have fought to overcome hardship, including mental health problems, disability, devastating injury and bereavement.
In the first series, guests Carol Vorderman, Jonny Benjamin, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Michael Caines, Vick Hope and Ray Winstone, together with veterans Simon Harmer, Stewart Harris, Nerys Pearce, Mark Ormrod, Shaun Stocker and Ken Bellringer, share their innermost thoughts and feelings about resilience and adversity, and how it has shaped them.
They have found that sharing their experience is the best way to help others tackle increasing pressures on mental health in the modern era.
The Resilience Sessions podcast follows on from the hugely successful Making Generation R – Resilience Through Inspiration, a campaign from Blesma, the charity for limbless veterans, and The Drive Project, the creative social enterprise, where wounded veterans deliver resilience workshops to 50,000 11–18 year olds and first responders across the UK, based on their own stories of overcoming adversity.
The idea for a podcast was born out of a conversation between Alice Driver, founder and MD of the Drive Project, and military veteran Si Harmer, who came close to death after losing both his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2009.
He said: ‘During my rehabilitation in hospital, the days were busy with people coming and going, but at night it became a very lonely and sad place. I wanted to put in my earphones and listen to something positive that would give me a sliver of hope and be part of a positive conversation.’
Alice added: ‘The Resilience Sessions podcast aims to create meaningful and inspiring conversations between two unlikely individuals, to talk about their experiences, careers, challenges and how they have handled resilience in their own lives, to act as an inspiration and support to those listening. We are using technology to connect veterans with others who have faced similar difficulties in life, to encourage their resilience against feelings of anxiety and poor self-esteem.’
The opening podcast episode sees Carol Vorderman paired with Si, revealing how her challenging childhood motivated her to achieve amazing things. ‘I think it was hardship that motivated me. It gave me a fire and a feistiness,’said Carol, whose father stood on an IED and was injured while working as a radio man in the Dutch Resistance.
The Resilience Sessions is brought to you by Blesma, the limbless veterans charity, and is based on an original idea by Si Harmer and The Drive Project. The venture is supported by Openreach and produced by The Drive Project.
The following podcasts will be available from the dates shown:
9 April – Carol Vorderman MBE and Simon Harmer
9 April – Jonny Benjamin MBE and Stewart Harris
16 April – Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Nerys Pearce
23 April – Michael Caines MBE and Mark Ormrod
30 April – Vick Hope and Shaun Stocker BEM
7 May – Ray Winstone and Ken Bellringer
The podcast is available from all major podcast platforms, including iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and more.
Says Ian Waller, Blesma operations director, ‘Our members’ inspirational stories of dealing with life-changing injuries are powerful examples of how crucial resilience is to recovery. The Resilience Sessions are designed to help people draw strength to face their own challenges and they clearly resonated with the personalities. Blesma is committed to supporting injured veterans to regain their independence and it is typical that they want to help others by talking about their experiences. We hope it will help promote resilience for listeners.’
Kevin Brady, Openreach HR director adds: ‘As one of the largest recruiters of ex-Services personnel in the country, we know what an incredible contribution our veterans make to the Openreach workforce, helping to build and maintain the UK’s broadband network. These conversations demonstrate how much we can learn from them, especially about resilience and inner strength, which are vital skills. We are delighted to support these podcasts and encourage everyone to listen.’
To download The Resilience Sessions, click here
To watch The Resilience Sessions trailer, click here
ABOUT BLESMA AND THE DRIVE PROJECT
Blesma is an Armed Forces charity dedicated to assisting serving and ex-Service men and women who have experienced loss of limb, use of limbs, hearing, sight or speech, either during or after service. We support these men and women and their families in their communities throughout the UK and overseas.
The Drive Project is an award-winning creative social enterprise that works alongside charities and businesses to inspire and empower people with arts projects, training and talks.
For further information on Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, call 020 3954 3023 or visit www.blesma.org
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