How do the British Ex-forces Wheelchair Sports Association help Veterans?
The British Ex-forces Wheelchair Sports Association (BEWSA) provides physically injured Veterans with the opportunity to participate in rehabilitative sport. Alongside running events, training and entering participants into competitions worldwide, BEWSA also provides welfare support to the Veterans who they work with.
Practical support such as sourcing and providing Veterans with wheelchairs that are suited to their specific daily and competitive needs is also carried out by the charity. Due to the nature of the different sports that wheelchair users take part in, the wheelchairs often have to match very specific requirements. BEWSA not only provides wheelchairs for sports but also provide wheelchairs for everyday use.
One key service that BEWSA provide is support for the families of injured Veterans. Many families and dependents find themselves overlooked due to the often chaotic and disruptive life changes that take place when a loved one is seriously injured. Mental wellbeing is crucial for everyone in order to cope with adversities, the families of injured Veterans are no different. The British Ex-forces Wheelchair Sports Association seek to provide support to these family units to help them obtain a positive outlook for the future.
BEWSA also support Veterans in their search for suitable accommodation and in achieving as much mobility as possible.
During July 2021, The Paralyzed Veterans of America are hosting the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in New York City. BEWSA are planning to send a sports team in order to represent the UK during the Games.
How has Veterans’ Foundation helped BEWSA?
Edwin Thomas, Director of BEWSA told us: “We are grateful to Veterans’ Foundation for their grant of £15,000. Veterans will always come first, this grant confirms this. Like all other charities, Covid-19 has impacted on our member’s fundraising events and on their travel and sports training. 90% of our veterans are wheelchair disabled, a number with medical needs. Grants such as these are now more important than ever before."
We asked Edwin for examples of how grants directly help Veterans and he told us of 2 recent success stories.
“An RAF Veterans has on two occasions recently tried to commit suicide over the loss of her father and sever financial debt. We helped her with a grant to stabilize her debts, arranged mental health counselling, which I am pleased to say is now a work in progress.”
“A former Army PTI was paralyzed in a freak accident while serving and had to be hospitalized with a severe leg injury, which resulted in her having her leg amputated. Her recovery both in Hospital and at home lasted for many months. During this time her old Laptop died, this being her main way of communicating to friends and family, BEWSA purchased a new laptop. Happily, she is now well on the road to recovery.”