Press article

ON COURSE FOUNDATION HELPS INJURED MILITARY PERSONNEL

Recently I’ve met with John Simpson, the founder of a charity, the On Course Foundation, whose goal is to help injured military personnel both here in the UK and in the United States.  Founded in 2009, the On Course Foundation helps them to rebuild their lives by giving them the skills, knowledge and confidence to find long-term employment in the golf industry.

John Simpson was inspired to do this because, after he had poliomyelitis as a child, he was left with a weakened leg. Golf had helped him to enjoy “competition, camaraderie and confidence” and he feels strongly that former members of the armed services, wounded in the service of this country, could find the same positive benefits. He also saw that ex-service personnel could find fulfilling work in a variety of jobs in golf.

This is such a positive approach that I was prompted to ask the Prime Minister, on 4 July, whether this idea might be extended to our police and fire services, too. I was pleased that the Prime Minister welcomed the idea and also announced that the UK will have the first national games for wounded, injured and sick veterans and personnel of the armed forces. This will take place next year.

There will also be another new sporting event taking place next year, when British and UK ex-servicemen will be playing a golf match for the Simpson Cup. It will be held at the Royal & Ancient golf club from 19 to 22 May 2019, and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence has agreed to be there to lend his support to those who are opening a new chapter in their lives.

Just to remind readers that the Veterans Welfare Service is also in place, as part of the Armed Forces Covenant, to help people as they move from service to civilian life. They also assist bereaved families and they will respond when an individual goes through a life event which means he or she has welfare needs.

There is a Centurion centre which covers inquiries from the South East (telephone 02392 702232 or email veterans-uk-vws-south@mod.uk).

[This article was previously published in the Bucks Advertiser and Examiner]