TESTIMONIALS

'They go together like peaches and cream or fish and chips!

Mick Mangham and Sean Wallage make the perfect team.

Gregarious, meticulous, professional, totally committed and with personalities to match, they are the ideal pair to prosper in the demanding world of entertainment.

They may be laid back, with that easy going manner about them, but don't be fooled.

They know exactly what they're about and triumph after triumph proves they have the recipe for success.

I've known them both for several years and I'm proud to call them friends as well as five star business colleagues.

Already it looks like 2015 is going to be another bumper year for them...and I'm glad to be part of it''

Charlie Graves - Cheif sub editor at The Rotherham Advertsier

''We are now arranging our third sport stars event with MW Entertainments having hosted, OssieArdiles on World Cup Final night, Graham Gooch for a sporting legends dinner and in May with Rory Underwood for a rugby World Cup preview evening.

As well as sourcing top sporting names we have found MW Entertainments to be an active partner in marketing events and giving positive advice to ourselves as a venue in terms of the service we offer in managing events.

We now have what we feel to be a trusted partnership and look forward to hosting many more similar events in the future''

Michael Sylvester,

Events Manager Rotherham Titans Rugby Club

''Brilliant events, always well organised and good fun with plenty of access to the celebrities arranged. Top drawer''


Mike Johnson - Northern Eagles Wealth Management

Rupert Smedley, 34, was a Captain in the Parachute Regiment. In January 2008 he was taking part in a Downhill

race at the Infantry Ski Championships in France, when he caught his inside ski at the fastest point of the

course, crashing into the mountain at an estimated 80mph.

Intensive Care

"I can't remember much of what happened and I was unconscious as I was airlifted to a hospital down in the valley.

I had broken my back and neck, had a severe traumatic head injury and damage to my bowel, liver and spleen.

I was in intensive care for eight days and the prognosis at the time was that I would never walk again.


"I was flown back to Selly Oak where I underwent surgery to rebuild my neck. Further surgery followed in May to remove bone fragments from my spinal cord. I spent the next year in and out of DMRC Headley Court.


"I was told I couldn't ever run again (I could barely walk as it was) but I was determined to get involved in sport

somehow. In 2009 I managed to persuade my doctors to let me take part in the H4H Big Battlefield Bike Ride.

I had seen some guys training for it at Headley the previous year – and had been inspired by them and, if I'm honest, felt quite jealous.I thought if they can do that after losing two legs then so can I.


Tough


"It was very tough and I was in a lot of pain but it felt good to be getting up and cracking on, making the best out of the bad set of cards I'd been dealt.


"Since then I have done as much as I can, including five H4H bike rides, the Warrior Games and the Race Across America (RAAM). Crossing the finishing line of one of the world's toughest cycling races was an incredible feeling.


"H4H has enabled me to take part in so many sporting events which give me a focus and an escape from a day-to-day life filled with pain. It's also a morale boost, seeing other guys doing so well and gives me a chance to be around like-minded people."


Support


"H4H has shown me what I can achieve and gives the general public a chance to support not just those blown up on the battlefield, but people like me, injured in training incidents."


Rupert Smedley Hero Testimonial

Royal Marine Joe Townsend, 25, was injured in Afghanistan in 2008, before the level of casualties hit its peak during Herrick 10 spanning 2009–2010. Joe stood on an anti-tank mine which was buried just below ground. He lost both of his legs in the blast.


Determined


"There was a loud bang. I felt myself thrown up in the air. I landed on the ground and tried to sit up and compose myself but I couldn't. All the lads swarmed round me and started patching me up. I looked down and could see what had happened to me. I was cracking jokes at the time; 'seem to have trouble finding my legs'. I was immediately flown back to Camp Bastion and then onto Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, where I spent five weeks in a critical care ward.


"I have always been determined not to let my injury get the better of me and over the past five years I have competed in many endurance races, including the Bolton Ironman, Hawaii Ironman World Championships and various triathlons.


"In June 2012, I took on the world's toughest cycling race, Race Across America (RAAM). I cycled over 3,000 miles with seven other wounded Servicemen to raise money for H4H.


Geniums


"In 2013 I was lucky enough to get fitted with Genium prosthetic legs. The difference they have made to my life is incredible. Before them, the best standard leg available for double above-knee amputees was the C-leg and for years I tried to mobilise using these, but I just couldn't work them comfortably and safely with my level of amputation. In the end I resorted to a much cheaper, basic locked-knee version to enable me to walk safely. Since getting the Geniums I have never looked back. I am now a lot more confident using the prosthetics in everyday activities. They are a lot more stable to walk on and have small functions which make a massive difference to my life."


Support


"I have been supported by H4H since I was first injured. They paid for specialist equipment such as my carbon racing bike and competition entry, as well as providing training opportunities. The Charity's help has enabled me to compete as an international athlete and my goal is to take part in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. With the help of H4H and some solid training, I hope to be able to represent my country once again."


Joe Townsend Hero Testimonial

For 31-year-old Gareth 'Gaz' Golightly, finding support at Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire has been a vital turning point in his life, not just for him but also for his family – wife Denise, 28, and two young daughters Clarissa and Brianna.


Withdrawn


"My career as a vehicle specialist in the Royal Logistic Corps ended less than a year after it began. I lost a leg following a hit-and-run car accident in 2002 and my other injuries included nerve damage and a shattered pelvis" says Gaz.


"For years, I didn't know where to turn for help. I became very introspective and withdrawn. One day, someone suggested I join a local wheelchair basketball club. The coach there also runs a weekly session at Phoenix House and suggested I went along. It was there I found out about all the help they offer veterans like me.


"I first visited in February 2013. Until then I had been doing nothing at home and didn't realise how withdrawn I had become. Now, thanks to Help for Heroes, I have become involved in all sorts of activities, from archery to swimming. I was also part of the cycling team that completed the 423 mile Hero Ride from Edinburgh to London in May 2013. That was an amazing experience.


"H4H has also funded a special wheelchair for playing basketball for me – I want to go as far as I can in the sport, and make the Paralympics if possible."


Family Room


"I have recently attended a computer refresher course at Phoenix House and for the first time since my accident, I am now seriously able to think about returning to work. I really feel like I'm getting back to the person I used to be."


Gaz's wife Denise, says "I have noticed a massive change in Gaz since he began visiting Phoenix House in Catterick. It's amazing how much he has come out of his shell. He never used to take the girls out on his own and did not speak to anybody.


"He's now talking to people – even strangers in the street. We were the first family to use the purpose-built family room at the Centre. Having that facility has made the world of difference to us."


Welcomed and Supported


"We are able to go to Phoenix House as a family so Gaz can spend lots of time with his daughters while still being able to do his courses and activities.


"I love coming here and so do the kids. Everybody makes us feel welcome and supported. It's amazing how much our home life has improved with Gaz coming here. Being able to use the family room brings our lives together as one."


Gaz Golightly Hero Testimonial

Aaron Hobbs, 22, a former Trooper with the Queen's Royal Lancers, was injured after his Jackal vehicle drove over an IED in Afghanistan in 2010.

"We were on our way back in after a patrol in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province. The blast flung me to the floor as the Jackal flipped onto its side. The driver, Trooper Andy Howarth, was killed instantly, and my commander, Sergeant Andrew Jones, was thrown to the ground next to me.


Survive


"I thought I was going to die. My sister had her first child a month before and had sent me a photo that I kept in my top pocket. I pulled the photo of my nephew out and focused on it. I had to survive so I could go home and meet him.


"I didn't know it at the time but I had fractured my spine and left hip as well as split my head and knee open. I remember my troop leader telling me that everything would be OK. But it wasn't. My Sergeant, a married father of three, died on the flight back to Bastion. All I could think afterwards was 'why did I survive when they didn't?


"Once I got back to the UK I was in hospital for eight weeks. I had surgery on my hip and was put in a spinal brace before having surgery to fuse the lumbar in one part of my spine. In November 2011 I was medically discharged from the Army due to my injuries – ending what I had hoped would be a long military career. Thankfully I was able to spend time at Tedworth House doing a skills course, which really helped prepare me for life outside of the Army."


Recovery


"I've made a steady recovery and can now walk mostly unaided, but I will require further surgery on my hip in the future.


"But of course not all of my wounds are visible. I struggled to come to terms with what happened and for a while was very angry. Through H4H, my Dad arranged for me to have counselling at Chavasse VC House in Colchester. It made all the difference. Spending time with people in a similar situation really helps and in 2011 I joined some other Band of Brothers members and took part in the Kenyan Half Marathon. I managed to walk the whole race and it was a very proud moment for me when I crossed the finishing line.


"I always loved football but my injuries mean I can no longer play, so this year I started my own adult football team – Route 66 Football Club – which I am coaching. This way, even though I can't play, I can still enjoy the sport. With the support of some generous people, we are now kitted out, playing in a Sunday League team. Being part of the team has done so much for my confidence – still being involved in sport means so much to me."


Amazing


"H4H has been there for me every step of the way, from funding a specialist bed to joining the Band of Brothers, introducing me to the backer of my football team, offering mental health support through the courses I have completed and counselling which is available for me at the Recovery Centres. The Charity is amazing – without H4H most soldiers like me would be hopeless and left with nothing."


In 2013 Aaron joined four wounded heroes from Canada, the USA and Australia on a very special 'Train for Heroes' trip with their families through the Rocky Mountains, organised by Rocky Mountaineer and supported by funding from Help for Heroes. The trip allowed the soldiers and their families to speak to each other and form friendships from a common starting point, and provided valuable healing time. Aaron said: "Meeting other injured soldiers from other nationalities and talking to them, the whole experience, the surroundings, has been phenomenal and the best thing I've done."


Since returning, Aaron is looking into opportunities in Sports Recovery and is taking his Football Coaching course Level 2 in May 2014.


"H4H has been there for me every step of the way, from funding a specialist bed to joining the Band of Brothers, introducing me to the backer of my football team, offering mental health support through the courses I have completed and counselling which is available for me at the Recovery Centres."


Aaron Hobbs Hero Testimonial

© Copyright MW Entertainments 2012