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Thread: I went to Stoke Mandeville today..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    23,218

    I went to Stoke Mandeville today..

    ...and came away thoroughly ashamed of myself.

    I was ashamed that, as I drove into the hospital sports complex, the magnificent, state-of-the-art building on my left contrasted so starkly with the leaky, draughty, smelly, 1940s Nissen hut on my right that housed the disabled shooters.

    I was ashamed that, as a representative of my sport, I hadn't been aware of this disgraceful disparity between the facilities enjoyed by other disabled sports people, and those endured by the disabled shooters.

    I was ashamed as I studied the 'facilities' the disabled shooters have, the leaking toilets, the lack of heating, the buckets meant for the collection of funds now pressed into service as drip-catchers and many other things I can't publicise.

    I was ashamed that this is the national centre for disabled shooters, from where our representatives at the Paralympic Games and other championships must come - and somehow do, despite the awful state of the place.

    Most of all, though, I was deeply ashamed of the times I've moaned and bleated about my own medical problems over the past year, when all around me were people of all ages enjoying their sport and staying positive, with only a fraction of the advantages I have, and so many more challenges than I've ever faced.

    I was horrified, angry, despairing and frustrated in turn, as was my colleague, Nigel Allen, Bill Sanders of Air Arms and Peter Martineau of BSA, all of us there on behalf of the Airgun Manufacturers and Traders Association. We all spoke at length to the shooters and the officials from their Association, in an effort to find out more about the situation and what was needed to improve it.

    After an hour or two I noticed something; none of the disabled people were moaning about things, they just got on with their shooting. I mentioned this to a shooter and what he said brought tears to my eyes. He told me 'most of us have serious stuff to think about just to do the things everyone else takes for granted. We generally don't have the time and energy to complain, we just get on with it - and that's probably why we get treated like we do. Another fact of our lives, is that many of us won't be around long-term, so we don't want to waste the time we have on negative things.'

    The tears came when I discovered that a lady I'd interviewed a couple of years ago, Isobel Newstead, had passed away in January. Isobel was a fantastic person and a seriously talented shooter, and I'd managed to get some sponsorship sorted out for her a while back. To hear that she had died was a real shock and I just couldn't bring myself to talk to her husband, who was helping out at the shoot.

    We came away from Stoke Mandeville with a resolution to do what we could, and what we should, for these shooters. We're not sure what that will be, but we're determined to make a difference somehow or other.

    Actually, we can all do something; if you're going to the CLA Game Fair, look out for people collecting for the Disabled Shooters Association, and drop what you can into their buckets. Every penny goes directly toward this fantastic cause, and believe me it needs all the help it can get.

    Thanks for reading this, and above all, enjoy your shooting and be grateful that you can do so to the full. Just spare a thought, and a few quid, for those that aren't so lucky.

    All the best.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    A Mile North of Rwy 27 of Liverpool Airport
    Posts
    17,766
    Wow.

    Very moving post that Terry.

    I feel the need to thank you and I feel somewhat down at you telling me about this.

    The feeling of thanks outweighs the downer by the way.

    So, what can we do??
    Non Nobis Solum Sed Toti Mundo Nati.

    Co-founder of "Treats4BritishTroops"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    People's Republic of Dundee
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    18,365
    A Volley of .22s at the local trust and the dept of health wouldn't go amiss either Terry. Thanks for bringing that to our attention.
    Big Ears
    Opinions are 10 a penny, facts are priceless.
    Good deals with esseffb, Kirby4105, Heirflick, Shootin Al, Maximoo & Walther

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Zurich
    Posts
    2,050
    PM sent

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Eastleigh, Hampshire.
    Posts
    3,420
    Couldn't you do a sticky type thing so people like myself who would like to contribute but who aren't going to be at the game fair can donate some money?
    Rgds-Dave.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Aylesbury
    Posts
    57,747
    Despite the hospital only being about a mile and a half from me, I had no idea there were shooting facilities there, although I knew disabled sports-persons had a base there

    Terry, is there a contact name you could give me? I'd like to offer my help them, should they need it.

    Pete.

  7. #7
    Punchsteve is offline Welding apprentice AKA grinding Bitch
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Anglesey
    Posts
    29,876
    What can I say to that. The determination and courage shown by them is as humbling as the obvious lack of support and resources is sickening.

    Some of us are very, very fortunate, and sadly, we seldom realise it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    23,218
    Thanks for the responses, guys, and I'll post a contact as soon as I've sorted something out with the fundraisers. Should be tomorrow, I hope.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nottingham
    Posts
    26,168
    This BBS has in the past shown its strength when fundraising and supporting various things in the past, I would echo the question asked earlier, what can I do to help?

    Also what can we as a group do, if support is forthcoming?
    "Improvise, adapt and overcome."

    I can count to potato.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Nr Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England
    Posts
    2,829
    A good cause for a lottery grant if ever there was one !
    I'm up for making a donation as I'm sure a lot on here would be if some one can sort it ?
    I'm sure having you on board now Terry will help there cause !
    cheers
    Barry
    "Now you wanna run around and talk about guns
    Like I ain't got none What you think I sold 'em all
    Cause I stay well off".

    http://www.stmichaelsonline.com/


    NRA Qualified RCO.

    "Do you lick the lid of life ?"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Surrey
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    23,218
    I think so too, Andy. When we act as a unit, we're pretty to watch.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Blackwood
    Posts
    10,529
    We need to set up some fund raising for this, asap. What can I do to help?
    Break your backs and crack your oars men! If you wish to prevail.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Burnley,Lancs
    Posts
    940
    I think that on this site we probably have a couple of brickies, a few plumbers a leccy or two maybe even a couple of chippiesand two or more plasterers.

    Pretty sure we even have an architect somewhere, and a lawyer.


    Wonder what we might be able to do with all these fine upstanding people and some funding.... BTW I'm already volunteering as a wood butcher/demolitionist.

    PS wood from up here is a damn sight cheaper than wood from the south n'all.

    All we need is a form of transport, some willing hands, a solid plan and some funds behind us.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    A Mile North of Rwy 27 of Liverpool Airport
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    17,766
    Quote Originally Posted by carcharadon View Post
    I think that on this site we probably have a couple of brickies, a few plumbers a leccy or two maybe even a couple of chippiesand two or more plasterers.

    Pretty sure we even have an architect somewhere, and a lawyer.


    Wonder what we might be able to do with all these fine upstanding people and some funding.... BTW I'm already volunteering as a wood butcher/demolitionist.

    PS wood from up here is a damn sight cheaper than wood from the south n'all.

    All we need is a form of transport, some willing hands, a solid plan and some funds behind us.
    NOW!

    THAT'S FORWARD PLANNING!
    Non Nobis Solum Sed Toti Mundo Nati.

    Co-founder of "Treats4BritishTroops"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Newbury
    Posts
    4,310
    OK Guys,

    I am a sparks, or used to be and can generally do whatevr put my hand to as far as construction.

    I am willing to donate some time and get together with others from here
    to go and do the Auf Weidersien bit to help out these fellow less able bodied
    shooters.

    With the numbers of guys on here, I am sure we can provide them with
    a decent shooting range, cabin etc.

    Anyone else up for it?

    Neal
    I'm back.

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