- Jaguar Land Rover support ‘The Walk of Britain’ organised by Walking With The Wounded and has donated 3 Discovery vehicles to help with the logistics
- 1,000 mile walk raises awareness and funds the re-training of wounded veterans leaving The Armed Forces
- Five ex-military recruits from the automotive manufacturer join the six wounded veterans for ‘day 54’ of the 74 day challenge from Whitley to Solihull
Six wounded veterans and five Jaguar Land Rover ex-military employees join forces for the day during the Midland’s visit of ‘The Walk of Britain’ which covers 1,000 miles over 74 days.
‘The Walk of Britain’ expedition started in Scotland on August 22nd when four British and two US wounded veterans began their walk across mainland Britain, which will finish at Buckingham Palace on November 1st. They aim to raise over £250,000 to support veterans with physical, mental or social injury in gaining skills and qualifications necessary to develop new careers outside the military to help re-integration back into society.
On day 54 of the 74 day challenge, they met at Jaguar Land Rover’s Design and Engineering Centre in Whitley where employees gathered to send them off on the walk to the automotive’s manufacturing plant in Solihull.
Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO, met the team and sending them off said:”I am full of admiration for the Walking With The Wounded team. Through this amazing challenge, they show clearly that, despite injuries, they are looking to the future with great determination and courage. It is an honour for us to support the team during their expedition.”
‘The Walk of Britain’ is the latest example of Jaguar Land Rover’s legacy following the support for the 2014 Invictus Games and signing of the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant. The company has a range of training programmes including an ‘Early Service Leaver’ and ‘Wounded, Injured Sick’ programme which supports those leaving military careers. These build on the company’s ongoing work with the Career Transition Partnership, through which Jaguar Land Rover has employed 200 veterans over the past 2 and a half years.
Gregg Niblett, Defender Manufacturing Manager at Jaguar Land Rover and also Veteran Network Lead for the company who took part in the walk said:”Today has been a hugely rewarding experience and I am delighted we could offer our support. I spent 20 years as a Combat Engineer in the Royal Engineers and then joined Jaguar Land Rover and worked my way through the ranks to become a manufacturing manager. I now actively support our 100 plus ex-forces community at Solihull and arrange social and charitable activities for us all to get together. The Company and I believe that those leaving the military have vital and transferable skills including engineering expertise, discipline, team-working and communication skills.”
Gregg was joined by four ex-military recruits who all gained employment at Jaguar Land Rover via the company’s bespoke training programme designed to help rehabilitate wounded, injured and sick ex-personnel and aid transition into civilian careers. Staff Sergeant Wayne Walker, formerly of the Queen’s Royal Lancers joined the Solihull manufacturing team as a Process Leader earlier this year.”I joined the programme after being medically discharged from a 19 year military career, during which I served in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. In Iraq I sustained a serious knee injury and have undergone 20 operations to my leg. I wasn’t sure where the training would lead but thankfully secured a permanent position which has meant security for my family’s future and has been a great confidence boost.”
Alec Robotham, aged 29, a wounded veteran from The Walk of Britain said:”I served as a Royal Marine and sustained serious leg injuries following a suicide bomb in Helmand in 2010. I then spent ten weeks of surgery and rehabilitation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where I had to learn to walk again. Nearly five years on from sustaining these injuries I feel extremely privileged to take part in this walk and would like to thank companies like Jaguar Land Rover for supporting the Ex-Forces community.”
The walk has been organised by ‘Walking With The Wounded’ (WWTW), which provides support to the wounded, to assist them back into work outside the Armed Forces. Through a number of programmes, and collaborations with other charities, WWTW focuses on helping individuals receive the right advice, training, skills, mentoring and understanding of the job market in order to find a new career outside the military, providing them and their family with the security they deserve after their service to our Country.