[A] cohort of ex-service men and women have participated in an expedition to the Lake District organised on behalf of Help for Heroes, the charity which supports veterans who have suffered injuries or illness as a result of their military service.
Over 20 former forces and services personnel were given the opportunity to undertake a series of water sports activities at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa on the shores of Windermere during their three day stay.
The special trip was set up by the North East Military Vehicle Club, with support from The Big Lottery Fund, as part of the overall aim of the charity to help the services veterans to rebuild their lives and give them renewed confidence in their abilities.
The excursion was complemented by a convoy of historic WW2 jeeps driven across from County Durham, as well as amphibious vehicles licenced to drive in and out of the lake.
One of the participants, Steve, who joined the Army straight from school, served several tours of duty and later suffered PTSD and two strokes, said: “The Watersports Centre staff were brilliant and nothing was too much trouble. They calmed our nervousness and anxiety and got us out on the lake.”
Corporal Kara Sennett, who has served nearly 17 years in the Royal Logistic Corps, has also been involved in the annual event as part of her recovery programme. She said: “For me it was certainly one of the best weeks I have had in a very long time. It was relaxing, entertaining, exciting and fun, and many more emotions were brought out during the week.
“The time we spent at Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre was also a fantastic experience. The staff got us water-skiing, flyboarding, motorboating and canoeing.”
The trip has become a regular event, with the centre hosting several visits for the initiative. Paul Brown from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues explains: “Help for Heroes and the North East Military Vehicle Club is doing wonderful work to help injured forces personnel along the road to recovery or a brighter future.
“We were delighted to welcome such a courageous and inspirational group to Watersports at Low Wood Bay and give them a chance to have a go at all sorts of activities out on the lake. “It was also an opportunity for everyone involved to experience being aboard an amphibious World War II vehicle as it drove straight into the lake.”
The centre is open seven days a week from April to October and has an extensive range of watersports for visitors to try. An experienced team is on hand to help get people out and about on the lake having fun. To donate to the military charity, visit http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/give-support/
Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa is set to become the first world class resort in the area. Its newly refurbished rooms re-opened after the first phase of construction in April. A restaurant, ‘Blue Smoke on the Bay’, spa and health club facilities are to open in the coming months, with a new ‘Club House’ block of rooms and suites to be added in the autumn.