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Heritage Heroes comes to the Pocklington

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 October 2016

Around 60 servicemen and women are participating in Heritage Heroes projects around the country

Around 60 servicemen and women are participating in Heritage Heroes projects around the country

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Veterans and wounded servicemen and women are rebuilding their civilian lives by helping with canal restoration

The veterans will join CRT engineers, heritage advisors and volunteers from Pocklington Canal Amenity Society to repair a section of the Yorkshire waterway.

They will restore a grade-2 listed lock at Thornton – which involves repairing historic brickwork and replacing timber lock gates – create a new nature trail and pond and improve a visitor centre.

Heritage Heroes is an ambitious two-year project jointly established by the Canal & River Trust and military charity Help for Heroes to give ex-service personnel the opportunity to gain qualifications and adapt to civilian life.

Veterans working at the PocklingtonVeterans working at the Pocklington

As well as helping the wounded, injured or sick to transition to civilian life, the project provides City & Guilds qualification in construction, horticulture, land-based management and health and safety.

Mike Lee, project manager at Help for Heroes, said: “Working towards a new goal in life through career recovery can be extremely beneficial to an individual’s overall wellbeing, often accelerating their personal recovery journey.”

Heritage Heroes has been possible thanks to £500,000 funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery.

David Simpson working as part of the Heritage Heroes projectDavid Simpson working as part of the Heritage Heroes project

Around 60 servicemen and women are participating in projects around the country, including at Ryeford Causeway in Gloucestershire, Pewsham on the Wilts & Berks and along the Kennet & Avon.

Former Lance Corporal David Simpson served in the Falklands and Northern Ireland and suffers from anxiety and anger issues. “Whilst I was stationed in Fitzroy, I witnessed something horrible – a needless, senseless death. I haven’t been the same man since,” he said.

“I have lived like a hermit for years now and that’s why I’m doing the Heritage Heroes project. I want a better life for myself.”

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