Mark Stephenson, chief executive officer of PWS, has been awarded a Hero award, by Help for Heroes, in recognition of his generous donation of four purpose-designed self-help kitchens to Phoenix House, the new recovery centre at Catterick and three smaller kitchens to the Endeavour recovery centre at HMS Drake in Plymouth. He has also committed to ongoing support of the charity, through regular vocational training visits to PWS from residents of the Catterick recovery centre.

Mo Usman, Help for Heroes recovery centre manager at Phoenix House Catterick says, “The Help for Heroes’ Hero awards are not given out readily. PWS was nominated and accepted for the Hero Award because of their outstanding support and contribution to Help for Heroes throughout the past year.

“The support provided by PWS to Phoenix House recovery centre has been exceptional. Thecentre was provided with four top-end high-quality kitchens at no cost. The kitchens have already been used on a number of occasions by resident wounded, injured and sick personnel and there have also been a number of professional cooking demonstrations taken place from the kitchens by high profile chefs. In addition, the vocational visits to the PWS production site provide valuable insight to potential employees.”

The Help for Heroes awards were started in 2010 when Bryn and Emma Parry, charity co-founders, wanted to recognise those fundraisers and supporters who had gone above and beyond in support of Help For Heroes.

The awards are treated like The Victoria Cross for the charity, not necessarily based on the amount of donation or money individuals raised, more the style, commitment and dedication of their support. In an ideal world Help for Heroes would want to award the thousands of individuals who have ever done anything for the charity but this just isn’t possible so each year the charity nominates people for their outstanding achievements. 

This year 30 individuals were presented with awards at Tedworth House, the Help For Heroes headquarters. The awards were hosted by Bryn and Emma Parry and ex-rugby international Simon Halliday. Presentations were made by members of the Band of Brothers, a group within the charity that offers lifelong support and opportunities to those men and women who have suffered life-changing injuries or illness whilst in service since 2001.

Comments Mark Stephenson, “There are literally thousands of individuals who donate money, products, time and limitless enthusiasm to Help for Heroes each year so it is a great honour to receive a Hero Award. The charity’s aim is to inspire, enable and support and their work is, without doubt, truly inspirational, humbling and valuable. It is so rewarding to know that through our donation of kitchens and our support of the charity’s vocational training programme that we can help to make a difference.”

PWS is committed to supporting Help for Heroes in the long term through hosting vocational visits for recovery centre users. The focus of the visits is to offer opportunities to appreciate not only the types of employment available but also to gain a wider understanding of both the differences and similarities between military and civilian employment.