Bomb blast hero’s bid to thank good cause

James Wilkinson serving at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan in 2009 (left) and in Birmingham Hospital after being injured in a blast (right).

James Wilkinson serving at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan in 2009 (left) and in Birmingham Hospital after being injured in a blast (right).

0
Have your say

A summer ball hopes to raise thousands for a cause that supported one veteran and his family after he was blown up in Afghanistan.

On his third tour to Afghanistan, James Wilkinson, who grew up in Nunburnholme, was just metres away from a blast caused by a remote-controlled improvised explosive device.

He suffered serious shrapnel injuries to his abdomen and a severed artery in his leg, among other injuries.

Now his partner, Rebecca Robinson, and his family are hosting a summer ball and huge charity auction to raise funds for Help for Heroes, who have provided them with vital support.

The former Woldgate School pupil joined the Royal Army Veterinary Corps as a dog handler. After the blast, his injuries meant a gruelling three-year rehabilitation programme at the Help for Heroes rehab complex at Headley Court, in Surrey.

James, 30, inevitably retired from the army but, five years on, he still suffers daily with the after-effects of the injury. Among other surgeries and treatments James, who played junior rugby for Pocklington, has had a hip replacement and still suffers from pain in his abdomen and back.

Gemma Cook and Rebecca Robinson are organising a summer ball on Armed forces Day in aid of Help for Heroes after Rebecca's partner James Wilkinson was injured in a blast while serving in Afghanistan.

Gemma Cook and Rebecca Robinson are organising a summer ball on Armed forces Day in aid of Help for Heroes after Rebecca's partner James Wilkinson was injured in a blast while serving in Afghanistan.

Rebecca came up with the idea of a black tie ball and charity auction to coincide with Armed Forces Day.

With the help of a friend, Gemma Cook, they have taken on the huge task of organising the fundraiser which will be held at The Royal Hotel, in Scarborough, this Saturday.

Rebecca said: “Help for Heroes gives practical and direct support to the injured and their families. We want to give back and raise some money for the cause which has supported us and so many others.”

Prizes up for auction include a two-night family break in a tipi at Pinewood Park, flight in a microlight and a six-month membership pass to Baron’s Gym.

Tickets include welcome drinks and a three-course meal . There will be live music from Grand Theft Audio and a disco.

Rebecca added: “For the people of Pocklington I know it’s a long way to travel but please get in touch if you want a ticket or to make a donation to the cause.” Tickets are available by calling Rebecca on 07445253691.