Earlier this month we were pleased to be able to support amputee veteran, former Lance Corporal Charley Streather, aged 62, by investing in a Riese and Muller electric bike for him.
As a below the knee amputee with severe back problems, Charley was struggling to get out and exercise with enjoyment. He was badly injured while serving in Arborfield back in 1979.
Now living remotely on the Isle of Mull, just off the west coast of Scotland, Charley is a keen and talented photographer who likes to get out and explore the wild nature on the Island using his hybrid bike. However, due to his injuries, he often struggles with long distances and to cycle up and down the steep hills on the Island. Getting out and about was sadly becoming a real challenge for him. An electric bike would allow him to exercise for longer, riding further along the beaches and up into the mountains – perhaps even conquering a challenge or two!
As a former Support Officer for Blesma for many years, Charley has always been keen to help others. He worked tirelessly creating and running rehabilitation events for members of all ages and physical abilities. However, he has always been reluctant to ask for support himself. After hearing about Charley’s difficulties, the team at Pilgrim Bandits were keen to help.
Charley has now received his Riese and Muller Nevo GT Vario – a sporty and resolute electric bike made for the wilderness – and he said “it’s fantastic to be back out exercising and exploring – I’m made-up”.
Charley commented: “I’ve never had anything like this done for me before and I’m a bit overwhelmed by it all, the thoughtfulness, the speed of decision, the fact that someone was willing to help. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to help others, it feels really strange to have it turned in my direction. When no one else was able to help me, there were Pilgrim Bandits. Before I knew it, the bike was ordered and in my receipt!
“I remember when Pilgrim Bandits started up, I was working in a similar field and many of the veterans the charity has helped are well known to me, every single one of them had nothing but great things to say about the support they have received.
“This bike will allow me to do more of what I love doing, cycling along the beautiful beaches and around the hilly lands – I like to get out and take photos of the incredible nature out here, especially the White-Tailed Sea Eagles. I might even be able to conquer a cycling challenge once I get my strength up a bit more, that would be great.”
Now Charley is keen to show his gratitude by offering to arrange a future no-expense-spared Pilgrim Bandits expedition. Pilgrim Bandits organizes life-changing, confidence-building expeditions for injured military veterans and emergency services personnel, pushing them into physically and mentally demanding situations that they would not previously have dreamed possible.
“I lead regular photography groups up here on Mull of sometimes up to 16 wounded veterans – we’d go out into the mountains, taking images of the beautiful nature and wild animals. I’m now looking to lead a similar group for the Pilgrim Bandits, hopefully sometime next year. I feel I can’t just take such a generous gift without doing something in return. We’ve already begun planning the trip. What I can assure you is that I have the knowledge and the willingness to make a trip to the Isle something special for all involved.”
If you’d be interested in getting involved in one of our upcoming expeditions email firstname.lastname@example.org.