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Join ex RAF helicopter crwman Ben Greer and his team for his Peterborough phase of  ‘The Big Lift’ challenge 2013 as he tries to raise awareness and cash for military charities.

The challenge will see Ben and the team walking a total of 440 miles in 100 UK locations with Ben carrying 100kg on his back and he’ll be outside Peterborough Cathedral at 9.30am on Wednesday April 3.

“I’m an Ex Royal Air Force having left two years ago, “ explains Ben. “I was a Chinook helicopter crewman. I had the pleasure of serving alongside some of the bravest young men and women I’ve ever met. I completed six tours of Afghanistan during 2006-2010. During these tours one of our main jobs was to provide casualty evacuation from the front line using the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT). We evacuated the bulk of both the civilian and military casualties for the area of Helmand. It’s been my honour to have been involved in such an operation which I should also state is still on-going.

“Having been involved in a lot of the British casualty evacuations, many very successful but including those dead on arrival and those who have died later on, Afghanistan has not yet left me. Not because I am suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but because whilst I sit at home in the comfort of my living room I’m aware of the price paid for what we have here. So often taken for granted and so often not even considered.

“For those who stayed behind and have lost loved ones, Afghanistan will never leave.

“That’s why I’m going to walk a mile for every British service person to have died in Afghanistan in the current conflict; currently sitting at 440. Each mile though, will be done with the weight of a combat soldier, in fighting kit on my back to simulate evacuation from the battlefield. The weight will be 100kgs or 15.74 stone, 220 lb.”

The Big Lift has the following aims:

  1. To create a focal point for the nation to show solidarity with the families who have lost loved ones. This can be by donating to the charities we are raising money for, walking a mile or more with the team or simply liking the event on Facebook or basically anything that will show support for the cause. Every little bit of support will count for something and will add to the overall effect of the event.

  2. To raise funds for the Army, RAF, Royal Navy and Marines Benevolent funds, SSAFA and Help for Heroes too. These charities provide assistance to the families that have lost loved ones, whether that be by providing much needed money as soon as the family is told that they have lost a member or assisting with accommodation amongst a host of other things. Help for Heroes also provides support for injured troops coming back from the frontline in all sorts of ways.

  3.  To show support for our armed service personnel.

The Big Lift is a national event, and they have active Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels which are regularly updated so you can find out more about how to support Ben’s great challenge. They’re relying heavily on donations and sponsorship from all over the country – Barclays Bank have agreed to match pound for ound everything he collects on his Peterborough leg – and he hopes to raise in excess of £100,000.00 for the nominated charities.


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