The Steam Packet Company is bringing six injured former servicemen to the Isle of Man to experience a road racing event as part of a rehabilitation charity’s work.
Letsdo was formed by Rob Maxwell and Steve Timblin, who both underwent limb amputations following injuries sustained while serving in the British Army, with the aim of bringing other injured servicemen and women together. It is hoped that former armed forces personnel living with life-changing injuries will benefit through group activities and taking trips together, coming to terms with their injuries and finding new confidence.
The first trip to the Island will be to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company International Southern 100 Road Races, which take place at the Billown circuit, Castletown, from 6th to 10th July.
The Steam Packet Company is providing transport for six service veterans and their motorcycles for free. Four will travel from Liverpool and be joined by two traveling from Belfast.
Rob explained: ‘I am an amputee ex-serviceman and life since leaving the armed forces has been a roller-coaster. Many times I struggled to look to the future and cope with my new life, but there was one place in my heart which always had an uplifting effect – the Isle of Man. I’m a keen motorcyclist and the memories of the good times I had in the Island made me feel so much more positive.
‘That got me thinking about the many types of rehabilitation there are and how helping people return to riding their motorcycles and watching racing could help promote a positive attitude, as it had for me. I got together with Steve, also an amputee, and we formed Letsdo.
‘The intention is to organise events for injured servicemen and women who are also bikers, and arrange trips to racing events like the Southern 100, TT, Manx Grand Prix and Classic TT. We want to give people a focus of something to look forward to, bring people in similar situations together to support each other and, ultimately, ensure everyone has a great time. Eventually, the aim would be for some of our members to become part of the events, and give something back to the Isle of Man in whatever way possible.’
He added: ‘Letsdo organises all the transport, accommodation and planning of the trip itinerary, and the logistics for our Southern 100 visit have been very demanding. I am absolutely overwhelmed by the support the Steam Packet Company has given us.
‘It is only through their generosity that this visit has become a reality. The Steam Packet Company is a vital part of all the motorcycling events in the Isle of Man which we love so much, and without the time and effort they put into getting everybody to the Island and safely home fans like us would not be able to sample these fantastic motorcycle events.
‘We hope this is the first of many trips which will enhance the lives of servicemen and women injured serving their country, and would like to thank everyone in the Isle of Man who has helped us with it.’
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Rob and Steve deserve credit for working so hard to find a new way of helping fellow ex-armed forces personnel, and we are honoured to be able to play our part in making sure this visit goes ahead.
‘It is fitting their first trip is to the Southern 100, which we have sponsored for so many years, and we hope it brings the positive benefits the charity is aiming for, and is the first of many trips to the Island.’
To find out more about the charity, visit www.letsdoevents.info
Members of Letsdo, including Rob Maxwell (fourth from right), during last year’s The Ride to the Wall, an annual ride which takes bikers to the National Memorial Arboretum to pay tribute to fallen soldiers