Halifax veteran to be joined by royalty at ceremony after endeavour award nomination

Ben Lee from Halifax
Ben Lee from Halifax

A veteran from Halifax has been nominated for the recognising achievement award at the upcoming Endeavour Fund Awards, recognising how he has best used his endeavour experience to promote and catalyse his recovery.

The Endeavour Fund Awards are held annually to celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges to help with their recovery and rehabilitation.

Ben Lee will attend the ceremony in London next week, where the winners will be announced.

He will be joined by Prince Harry and Ms. Markle who will be meeting the inspiring nominees as well as other endeavour participants and supporters of the Endeavour Fund.

Ben served with the Royal Engineers and was part of a team that searched for and disposed of IEDs in Afghanistan. He was hit by an IED in 2011, resulting in the loss of both legs as well as damage to his hand and arm, a broken back, shattered pelvis and hearing loss.

He was put in touch with Deptherapy, which runs specially adapted scuba diving programmes for wounded, injured and sick Service personnel.

However, having had a near-death experience in water as a child, Ben had to overcome his fears.

With the help of the Deptherapy team, Ben's ongoing development in sport has included his qualification as a PADI Wreck Diver.

He is now a PADI Rescue Diver and PADI Master Scuba Diver and is progressing towards becoming a Divemaster

He is now an ambassador for Deptherapy and is attending the Mental Health First Aid Course so he can be of more assistance to others involved with the charity.

Ben said: "The team and programme has changed my life, I no longer think I can’t do things because of my disabilities, I just jump in and try it. What an absolute honour it is to work so closely with the team of individuals that make up the Deptherapy family."

The Endeavour Fund is a project led by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The fund plays an important role in ensuring that more servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges.

It aims to target those that are hard to reach and to support activities that contribute to the participants’ physical, psychological and social recovery – either through mentorship, qualifications or work opportunities.

David Wiseman, Head of Armed Forces Programmes at The Royal Foundation said: "These Awards are an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the achievements of a group of extraordinary individuals who have utilised support from the Endeavour Fund to excel across a range of sporting and adventurous challenges throughout 2017.

"During these challenges, the nominees have promoted their own recovery and inspired others to do the same, all whilst overcoming adversity and never losing the distinct and unshakable humour for which our Forces are well known."

Since its launch in 2012, the Endeavour Fund has supported 66 different projects that have directly assisted over 2,265 wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women. Through their own fundraising, these endeavours have collectively raised over £2.5million for other forces charities.

Winners will be announced at the Endeavour Fund Awards ceremony on 1 February. For more information please visit www.endeavourfund.co.uk.