Supacat hosts off road drive day for Motorsport Endeavour

Injured soldiers take back control at the wheel of a Jackal

Some 60 injured soldiers and their partners, coping with both physical injuries and mental health issues, had the chance to take the controls of the world’s most acclaimed special forces vehicles at an event on 24 January organised by Motorsport Endeavour and Help for Heroes and hosted by Supacat at its off road test track in Devon’s Blackdown Hills.

The British military vehicle maker provided a range of its high mobility vehicles, including the 4×4 `Jackal` and 6×6 ‘Coyote’ which are part of the British Army’s core fleet. The vehicles were fitted with adapted controls for the day and the Supacat drivers were there to guide them around the track.

Motorsport Endeavour is unique in supporting the psychological recovery of service personnel and veterans through nationwide motorsports events. To date, Motorsport Endeavour has put together over 250 events with in excess of 5,000 servicemen and women experiencing high-octane, adrenaline-rushing motorsport events. Many have made life-long friendships and gained much-needed confidence and life skills, built trust and comradeship, and thus gained a more fulfilling life with positive self-esteem and resilience.

Twenty eight veterans and their loved ones from Help for Heroes’ Plymouth Recovery Centre also took part in the day. Veteran Neil Edwards, who served 21 years in the Royal Corps Signals and was medically discharged in 2017, said it was an amazing day, ‘It’s just a great opportunity to get back in the vehicles you used to work on during operations like in Oman and Afghanistan. It’s just a good all-round muddy adventure. To come to an event like this you do feel appreciated again. Makes you feel worthwhile again.’

Motorsport Endeavour was founded by Graham Raphael, who himself suffered paralysing injuries in 1977. He comments, “By definition service personnel have guts and they gain from many different aspects of these events, which help diffuse their problems. For someone who has lost his sight or a limb, giving them the controls of a vehicle makes them realise life isn’t over. The public may no longer see the coffins passing through Royal Wootton Bassett but the mental and physical challenges continue for them and their families. The carers are `The Forgotten Few` as they are often overlooked, hence we involve them in all our events”.

Nigel Platt, a former Royal Marine and Supacat driver who organised the event, said, “Our aim is to put a big smile on their faces. It gets many of them out of hospitals doing something they never thought they’d be able to do again, and taking back control, which boosts their confidence”.

Supacat has hosted numerous Drive Days for Motorsport Endeavour as part of its commitment to supporting the armed forces community. Last year it was awarded the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Award for its support to the armed forces community.

Mims Davies MP visits Hamble marine engineer Proteum

Mims Davies, MP for Eastleigh, visited Hamble based marine engineer Proteum on Friday 18 January, to learn more about the company and share insights on the challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit. The company is part of UK engineering services firm, SC Group, and serves a worldwide customer base.

Mims Davies was welcomed by Nick Ames, CEO of SC Group, Shaun Mitchell, Group Finance Director of SC Group, Jeremy Paul, General Manager of Proteum and Robert Talbot Rice, a Non-Executive Director, as well as the Proteum Team. In a tour of the facility she saw the wide range of commercial marine diesel engines, including the OXE Diesel, the world’s first high performance diesel outboard, for which Proteum acts as distributor and supports with high quality technical services.

Eastleigh MP, Mims Davies said:

“It was great to visit the Proteum UK team in Hamble on Friday & chat about their specialist local jobs, supporting STEM subjects & the need for more women engineers.

“We also had some really productive conversations about the issues, opportunities & challenges around Brexit. As I’ve said many times before, it’s always great to hear from local businesses about what matters to them locally and nationally, with the majority of Proteum’s Hamble workforce living locally.

“I’ve spoken to the Business Secretary since returning to Westminster to raise some of the areas discussed with the Proteum Team, and will continue to support them and other businesses as Eastleigh’s MP.”

Nick Ames, CEO of SC Group said,

“We were pleased that Mims Davies was able to meet with us at Proteum and hear her views and observations on the implications of Brexit on businesses such as ours. It was a valuable opportunity for us to brief her on the impact Brexit has had on Proteum’s business so far and our concerns for the future”.


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