Doing it for Heroes
388. Chief Petty Officer Andrew Gibbs
A Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer who has raised nearly £400,000 for Help for Heroes by leading a group that sets up and leads walking challenges and fund collections across the UK.
Andrew Gibbs, 45, set up and leads Doing it for Heroes, a group of dedicated volunteers raising funds to help provide better facilities for British servicemen and women wounded or injured in the line of duty. Challenges have included walking from Wembley to Cardiff for the UEFA Euro 2012 football qualifier and from the City of London to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to kick off the 6 Nations rugby tournament. Since setting it up over seven years ago he has inspired around 35 people taking part in each challenge. Andrew is just £2121 away from raising £400,000 and hopes to reach this milestone at Twickenham on Saturday 28 November when he fundraises at the Premiership Rugby London Double Header.
He was inspired to set up the charity in 2008 on the return journey from an eight month deployment in the Middle and Far East. Speaking with a combat medic friend he shared stories of what he had seen and of the vital support service men and their families may need on their return. They set up a walk from Glasgow to Edinburgh carrying a Help for Heroes stretcher and raised £14,000 for the charity and their work has continued from there. Seeing how the money is used to transform lives at the Help for Heroes rehabilitation centre at Tedworth House, Salisbury, Andrew became further committed to the cause. He officially set up the Doing it for Heroes brand in 2011 with help of generous sponsors Heineken UK and Essex Auto Group.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“With his fundraising for Help for Heroes, Chief Petty Officer Andrew Gibbs has done a huge amount to support our Armed Forces. As a serving member of the Royal Navy he sees first hand the bravery and sacrifices our forces make for us every day. Today, as we all reflect on the debt we owe our Armed Forces, it is fitting to recognise Andrew as the UK’s 388th Point of Light.”
Andrew said of winning the award:
“It is an immense honour to receive this award especially on the 11th November. It is all about the team that helped me achieve all that we have done for Help for Heroes. You can see the difference the money makes to those that have been wounded in combat. It is all about support for life and I, along with my team, will carry on with our volunteering, whether it be at Wealdstone FC on a cold and wet midweek or on the concourse at Wembley Stadium in the middle of July. I am very proud to be recognised for what the team and I have achieved.”
Local MP, Caroline Dinenage said:
“I’m thrilled to hear that the charitable work of Gosport’s very own Andrew Gibbs has been recognised by the Prime Minister and that he is set to receive a Point of Light Award. This is a real honour for Andrew and a true testament to his tireless fundraising efforts for Help for Heroes. Given Gosport’s strong ties to our Armed Forces I know that people across the area will be incredibly proud of everything that he has done to support the military community.”