Four former Alabaré Gloucestershire Homes for Veterans residents have taken on the daunting task of the Cumbrian Challenge in support of Walking With The Wounded…

The 23km tab took them up Lingmoor Fell and Blake Ridge, an elevation of around 5000ft and in temperatures of around 24 degrees, and whilst they completed against about another 100 teams, the four came first for a second year running as they completed the course in around 4.5 hours.

Paul Bradley (Ex-Parachute regiment) John Clark (Ex-Rifles), Paul Newark (Ex-Grenadier Guards) and Mark Arnold (Ex-Royal Gibraltar Regiment) decided to run the course despite the temperatures.

Their enthusiasm to win came out in their competitive nature, however throughout the weekend they were determined to ensure that the message of the support that they had received from Alabaré and Walking With The Wounded was at the forefront of their minds.

They spent time (as beneficiaries) talking with individuals and businesses who were there to raise money for WWTW and the employment support the four have had over time.

John Clark is now is in full time employment as an engineer and aims eventually to run his own business. “You’ve got to do a lot on your own, you have to be motivated but these charities really pick you up and support you, help you negotiate the system and give you your confidence back.”

Supporting the team was Tony Lovegrove from RFEA and Walking With the Wounded, the Employment Advisor to our Gloucestershire Homes for Veterans. His role has been critical in enabling the four to re-gain skills from the military and convert them to civilian life, to learn new skills and secure employment.

Tony said: “The Cumbrian Challenge 2018 saw our second win in four years of entering this challenge. The weather was brilliant this year, almost too hot to walk around let alone run, as our team did. Here’s to looking forward to 2019”

Each of the four who took part have been homeless and have between them experienced PTSD, emotional breakdowns, family detachment and issues with debt, drug or alcohol, as well as dealing with their negative emotions. However, through the Cumbrian Challenge they have shown inner strength, resilience, and a determination to stand as Ambassadors for the work that Alabaré does.