The inaugural Invictus Games took place in London in September 2014, and representatives from our Military Injury Claims Team were delighted to host guests (and be hosted themselves) at various events.
Andrew Buckham, from the Military Injury Claims Team in Southampton and Ruth Moore, Senior Welfare Advisor in Sheffield, were hosted by Jaguar Land Rover for the opening and closing ceremony of the games and in turn hosted guests from the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS), Pilgrim Bandits, Royal British Legion and SSAFA.
The DMWS is the only civilian charity to be deployed alongside our Armed Forces while serving abroad. All of the injured, wounded and sick Armed service personal will have been in contact with welfare officers from the DMWS during their recovery, so Nicky Murdoch, Chief Executive, was a fitting guest. Nicky said:
“Thank you so much for inviting us to the ceremony and for the hospitality. It was a great event.”
The opening ceremony welcomed 400 competitors from 13 nations. In addition to the welcome parade, there was a fly-by conducted by the Red Arrows and Apache and Merlin helicopters – and a spectacular display by Kings Troop Royal Artillery.
On day two, Irwin Mitchell was delighted to host volunteers from Pilgrim Bandits - a charity who support injured veterans to achieve extraordinary things.
The Pilgrim Bandits also sponsored Gold medal winners Steve Gill, Carl Harding and Cpt Andy Phillips by supplying equipment enabling the veterans to participate in the games.
The Pilgrim volunteers had a great time meeting members of Team GB and one or two special guests!
None of us could quite believe it when HRH Prince William and HRH Prince Harry strolled around, chatting to people in such a relaxed manner. Prince Harry was particularly generous with his time and attention to all attendees.
On Sunday, we attended the closing ceremony with guests from SSAFA, The Royal British Legion and a veteran who had previously served with Prince Harry: Lieutenant Richard Cann.
The closing concert included artists Bryan Adams, Ellie Goulding, James Blunt, Kaiser Chiefs and Foo Fighters to name but a few. The music was interspersed with medals, ceremonies and recognition to therapists from Headley Court, prosthetics and the Help for Heroes charity Battleback.
Prince Harry mixed with competitors and spectators and I was delighted to be able to introduce him to the teenage daughters of one of our guests. They were utterly star struck as he joked with them.
“This truly was a spectacular event and we were delighted to be invited to attend. We hope the games will continue in whatever format and know it will continue to inspire.”
For more on the Invictus Games, visit invictusgames.org