Disability champions raise vital funds for veterans' charity

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Blesma charity walk

Thames Water employees walked the Black Mountain Challenge in Wales to raise money for Blesma

Thames Water employees went the extra mile to raise money for veterans who have suffered life-changing injuries while serving their country.

A cheque for £5,144 was presented to Blesma, the military charity for limbless veterans, by Thames Water disability champions at the company’s headquarters in Reading (March 9). 

The Chelmsford-based charity supports serving and ex-service men and women in the UK who have lost limbs or the use of their limbs or sight for the duration of their lives, and was Thames Water’s Disability Confidence Charity partner for 2019.

The money was raised by a group of disability champions who organise awareness-raising events and help to improve the access and support Thames Water provides to its employees and customers.

Thames Water’s Disability Confident network group ran a range of activities to raise funds, including collections on Armed Forces Day, participating in the 2019 London Marathon, cake sales and raffles. More than 30 employees also took part in a gruelling 17.5km charity walk in the Black Mountains in Wales. Thames Water matched the total funds raised by the group.

Danny Green served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers before joining Thames Water in 2008. He said: “I joined Thames Water’s Disability Confident Network a few years ago and suggested we partner with Blesma as it’s a great charity, which supports the men and women I served with. We organised events throughout the year to raise money – I even ran the London Marathon.” 

Abbi Wilkins, corporate partnerships officer at Blesma, who accepted the cheque on behalf of the charity, said: “This kind of support is invaluable to Blesma and will make a huge difference in helping us to assist our members and their families to lead independent and fulfilling lives. From everyone at Blesma including all our beneficiaries, a huge thank you to everyone at Thames Water.”

Karl Simons, chief health, safety and security officer and member of the Thames Water charities committee, added: “It’s been incredible seeing all the amazing feats and hearing the inspiring stories, where our people have taken part in challenges to raise money for such a worthy cause. We have enjoyed matching the funding raised in support of such an amazing organisation as Blesma.”

Thames Water has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, which forms part of the company’s wider strategy on recruiting former service men and women, who often have skills relevant to the water industry such as engineering, leadership and incident management.

The MS Society, which supports people living with Multiple Sclerosis, was recently selected as Thames Water’s 2020 Disability Confidence Charity partner.