On Thursday 7th February, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended The Endeavour Fund Awards, where three members of the Armed Forces Community, who were injured or fell ill in service, were celebrated.
The ceremony, hosted by Ross Kemp, recognised determination of our nominees not only to recover but also to provide support to others whilst achieving excellence in their sport or adventurous challenge.
Three individuals were nominated for each award, and winner was decided by a panel hosted by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
You can watch the Awards Ceremony here, or read on to find out more about our winners.
Presented by Olympic multi-gold medal winner, Matthew Pinsent, to the individual who has best utilised their endeavour to promote and catalyse their recovery, was presented to Kelly Ganfield, a member of the UK Invictus team. Kelly joined the army at 18, but her service was ended abruptly when she developed a severe blood condition, leading to a serious brain injury, and leaving her visually impaired. In recovery, Kelly started long distance running, and was selected for the UK’s Invictus team, where she has become an essential member of the squad and an inspiration to many other competitors.
After receiving her award, Kelly said: “This means a great deal to me because I not only did this for me, I did this for my little 3-year-old daughter who has got cerebral palsy, and I wanted to prove to her that anything is possible in life no matter what you go through.”
Presented by The Duchess of Sussex, this award was given to the individual who has achieved excellence in their chosen sport or adventurous challenge. The winner of this award was Nathan Forster, who learned to fly microlights with ‘Flying for Freedom.’ Nathan was injured when his patrol was hit by an IED in Afghanistan. His ankle was shattered in the blast. As part of his recovery, Nathan joined Flying for Freedom, where he learnt to fly microlights. He quickly proved that he was a natural in the air, and today, is a commercial pilot taking thousands of people on holiday with TUI.
Nathan said: “This award isn’t really for me, it’s for everyone who has helped me along the way. I didn’t think I’d be standing here all these years ago when I was first brought back in a CASEVAC back from Afghanistan and I didn’t think I’d be doing what I’m doing today. It’s a real testament to the help and support I’ve had.”
THE HENRY WORSLEY AWARD
The Henry Worsley Award is presented to the individual who has best inspired others through the demonstration of determination in the face of adversity, whilst endeavouring to support others with their recovery through sport or adventurous challenge. This was presented by The Duke of Sussex, to Shaun Pascoe, who set up ‘Turn to Starboard’. Shaun served in the RAF for 16 years, serving in Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Returning home was not an easy move for Shaun and he was also diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress. To help his own recovery, he took up sailing, and loved the feel of rediscovering a team and being on the ocean. This is what prompted him to start his charity ‘Turn 2 Starboard’, supporting the recovery and rehabilitation for other veterans like him.
Shaun said: “Obviously I’m very honoured and humbled to be standing up here, but I think it’s equal measures of discomfort and that discomfort is because, and I think what most people have alluded to, is that even in service and what we do now and what we do for others is alone we just don’t function. We function as a team.”
“You are leading examples for the armed forces community, for public service, for giving back to society and for everybody else in the UK – you do not have to be defined by your injury or disability. It does not have to hold you back. You may not realise or appreciate it yet, but do not underestimate the incredible impact you are having on those around you, by simply being yourself.” – The Duke of Sussex