Hero soldier winding down charity mission

Sgt Rick Clement
Sgt Rick Clement
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A Fylde coast war hero is winding up his charity supporting injured soldiers.

Sgt Rick Clement, from Marton, lost both his legs in a Taliban bomb blast in 2010 while serving with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment in Afghanistan.

Having survived, against the odds, he set up A Soldiers Journey.

The charity provides support, advice and assistance to all current those serving in the forces, those injured in action and their families – in particular those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

But now he says the fundraising organisation is too big to run without hiring extra staff – taking cash away from those who need it.

Rick said: “ Myself and the fellow Trustees have decided to close A Soldiers Journey Charity down as of next month.

“There are a few reasons but the main ones being that we have reached a point where the only way to keep going would be to hire staff.

“This would mean that some of the money raised would go on wages and other costs and is something I really don’t want to do.

“I intend to continue organising fundraising events and working closely with charities I trust to make sure support is always there for those in need.

“It will also allow me to put my maximum into walking on my prosthetics and other personal endeavours without overdoing things which I have in the past.”

The charity’s remaining funds will be used until it closes with any left over being transferred to Scottys Little Soldiers and the ABF The Soldiers Charity.

Rick, who along with new partner Corporal Hannah Campbell met rock superstar Bryan Adams at Lytham Festival on Saturday, insists he will continue to work on behalf of those his charity has supported.

He said: “I’d also like to say a big thank you to our ambassadors and patrons who have worked extremely hard to raise our profile.

“I know some will be disappointed to hear this news but please respect our decision and see it not as the end, but simply the next step of A Soldiers Journey.”

The charity recently closed its online store which had been one of a number of fundraising channels.

Among the causes helped by A Soldier’s Journey is the British Limbless Ex Servicesman’s Association which has a home in Blackpool. The charity has also run jetski days – designed to prove to those injured in service that anything is possible, no matter what their disability might be.