The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is supporting a new local group which helps provide rehabilitation and social integration for members of the military, emergency services and others who have been injured – physically or emotionally – while carrying out a public duty.
Heroes on the Water Isle of Man was launched last year as a fundraising partner for Heroes on the Water UK, which uses kayak fishing to provide rehabilitation and integration for its members.
The group’s next event takes place at 10.00am on Saturday, July 4th in Port Erin Bay and the Steam Packet Company has helped bring two guests to the Island for the weekend.
Tony Palmer, one of the event organisers, said: ‘Last year HOW Isle of Man raised £1,000 for HOW UK and we hope to match or exceed that total this weekend. The kayaking competition will again involve serving & ex-service personnel and emergency service personnel from the Island.
‘Thanks to the support of the Steam Packet Company again this year, we have been able to bring over two visitors from the UK. Martin Hurst is a Trustee of HOW UK as well as being a member of the Ocean Kayak UK fishing team, while Neil Whitehead, the captain of the HOW UK fishing team, has personally benefited from Heroes on the Water; he is an ex-Royal Engineer and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.’
HOW Isle of Man hopes to run a number of free kayak fishing sessions in the Island each year for local service personnel, both currently serving and retired.
The group also has an agreement with the Joey Dunlop Foundation to provide specialist accommodation free of charge at Braddan Bridge House for visiting ex-military and emergency service personnel if they are part of the HOW initiative, subject to availability. The Foundation’s principle aim has always been to provide specialist accommodation that will open up the Isle of Man to visitors with a disability.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Heroes on the Water is an important and worthwhile initiative and we were only too happy to help. There are HOW projects around the world, including in Australia and the USA, and it’s wonderful that it has now reached the Isle of Man.’