Mike faces tough challenge to help injured troops
By Trudi_B | Monday, August 26, 2013, 21:01
Bar manager Mike Griffin is preparing to test his strength, stamina and determination after being inspired by the work of Troop Aid.
Mike, 22, of Yate, near Bristol, is in training for a military-style assault course that will see him taking on tunnels, hills and 12ft walls, battling through mud, water, ice and even fire.
By the time he finishes the Tough Mudder event, Mike hopes to have raised more than £1,000 for Troop Aid – the charity that supports servicemen and women who have been injured in conflict.
Mike learnt about Troop Aid through his mum and dad, Debra and Clyde, whose Iron Acton company Bagsdirect (Wholesale) Ltd manufactures the charity's famous Grab Bags.
Injured personnel arriving home from war zones without any personal effects or clothing are given a bag filled with basic essentials such as a T-shirt, underwear, shorts, toiletries, a pen and paper. Troop Aid can also supply topped-up mobile phones, tracksuits and trainers.
Mike was thinking of ways to get fitter when he and his parents attended the annual Troop Aid fund raising ball.
He said: "If there was motivation and inspiration to get on and do it, that was it. Other people have done some pretty amazing things, so there was no reason why I couldn't do something to help."
Mike, who works part-time at Henry's Oriental restaurant in Chipping Sodbury, is a former medal-winning junior gymnast and is running several times a week, as well as doing weight training, to prepare for the challenge on September 21.
He has also persuaded his friend and neighbour, Ryan Brockwell, 22, to join him in the 10 to 12-mile event in the Black Mountains of Wales.
Troop Aid's secretary, Pam Sutton, said: "Troop Aid would like to say a huge 'thank-you' to everyone at Bagsdirect (Wholesale) Ltd, not only for the help in procuring the Grab Bags, rucksacks and wallets but also for their ongoing support with the charity's fundraising efforts in support of injured servicemen and women."
Grab Bags are currently sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham; field hospitals in Afghanistan, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands; UK MoD hospital units and the Headley Defence Medical Rehabilitation Unit, Surrey.
Each bag costs £25 to supply and Troop Aid welcomes all donations. Recently it ran a stall at Thornbury carnival, collecting more than £200.