On the night, Their Royal Highnesses met with beneficiaries of the Endeavour Fund who have taken part in various endeavours over the last few years and nominees for this year’s Award Ceremony. They also spent time with Henry Worsley’s wife and two children.
Three special awards were given out on the night.
The Endeavour Fund Award for the individual who has endeavoured to achieve excellence in their chosen sport or adventurous challenge was presented to Nerys Pearce. Nerys served in the Royal Army Medical Corps as a medic for several years before she was paralysed in a road traffic accident. Her injuries resulted in Nerys requiring the use of a wheelchair and seemingly prevented her from taking part in the sports in which she was so active prior to her accident. She made the positive decision to re-engage with sport and with the help of a number of organisations including Sportable, BLESMA and Help for Heroes and made an incredible turnaround. Last year, Nerys was selected for the UK Armed Forces team at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando. Nerys took part in a range of sports from powerlifting and rowing, to swimming and athletics and won an an incredible ten medals.
Nerys was presented her award by Royal Foundation Chairman Sir Keith Mills and a representative from AIG, lead corporate partner of the Endeavour Fund.
The Endeavour Fund Award for the individual who has best utilised their endeavour to promote and catalyse their recovery went to Martin Pollock. Martin was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device resulting in the loss of both legs above the knee and the loss of his left arm above the elbow. Whilst undergoing rehabilitation at Headley Court, Martin was one of the few patients who seemed like he had lost all hope despite the clinical staff’s best efforts. That is, until Martin took part in Operation SURF. From the moment he rode his first wave it was clear to all present that Martin had finally found his calling. Martin himself explained that surfing didn’t change his life, it has become his life.
Martin was unable to attend tonight’s award ceremony so his award was presented by Prince Harry to Jon Paul Nevin from Help for Heroes who was involve in Op Surf UK.
The final award of the night was the The Henry Worsley Award. The top prize was named in honour of Henry Worsley as a small part of his legacy and to recognise his support to the Armed Forces Community. This award recognises the individual who has best inspired others through the demonstration of determination in the face of adversity whilst endeavouring to support others with their recovery through sport or adventurous challenge.
This special prize was awarded to Neil Heritage. In 2004, at the age of 24, Neil became the first British soldier of the Iraq conflict to survive an above the knee double amputation after being blown up by a suicide bomber. Having narrowly survived the explosion and following countless surgical operations Neil was told he would never walk again. Neil’s extraordinary spirit and determination has made him an inspiration to many around the world as he continues to defy medical opinion and prove to all there is life beyond injury. Neil refused to accept he would never walk again and since recovering and retraining over the years he has completed triathlons, learned to ski and rowed across the Atlantic Ocean unsupported in the inaugural Row2Recovery team. He also founded Climb 2 Recovery, encouraging other wounded, injured and sick Service personnel to take part in Alpine Climbing. In 2016 Neil attempted to summit the Matterhorn, and will return to have another go in 2017.
Neil was presented his award by The Duke of Cambridge and Max and Alicia Worsley, Henry’s children.