Donations to enable injured veterans to sail with The Jubilee Sailing Trust: July 2011, July 2013 and May 2014
The Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) is a registered charity whose mission is to promote the integration of people of all physical abilities through the challenge and adventure of tall ship sailing aboard two very special ships.
The DDMT has sponsored several injured servicemen to sail with the JST thanks to the organisational links and dedication of Dougie’s uncle, David Sage. This has included a variety of passages from introductory voyages to full blown Atlantic crossings, requiring and restoring confidence and self belief in those on the difficult journey of adjusting to life after trauma.
In August 2014 Lance Sergeant Marcus Strydom MC, supported by David Sage, joined the last leg of Lord Nelson's round the world voyage following an introductory sail in the summer of 2013.
The initial DDMT sponsored voyage aboard Lord Nelson took place in 2011 when a group of four injured Coldstream Guardsmen and one injured Welsh Guardsman set sail for a 320 mile voyage from Las Palmas around the Canary Islands.
Two of the Coldstream Guardsmen, Greg Dunnings and Billy Robinson, served in Dougie’s platoon and witnessed the horrific events that took place on 30 November 2009 in Afghanistan for which Dougie was later awarded the Military Cross. Greg had suffered serious injuries to his legs during the explosions on 30 November 2009 and Billy was also injured by a later explosion.
The two other Coldstream Guardsmen, Scott Cooper and Bob Godwin, knew Dougie but were serving with another platoon in Afghanistan when they received their injuries. Dale Leach, the Welsh Guardsman replaced a Coldstreamer who had to go back into hospital for a further operation at the last minute.
Billy, Scott and Bob relaxing the first evening after signing on as crewmembers.
The Lord Nelson is fully equipped to be able to take both disabled and able-bodied aboard and everyone took an equal part in cleaning the heads, washing the decks, serving the meals and washing up etc! These 5 wonderful young men, determined to make the best of their situation and get on with their lives, were an inspiration to all who were lucky enough to share the voyage with them.
As a direct result of this voyage, other Regiments have followed suit with their own funding - the Royal Welsh Fusiliers sent 10 of their injured soldiers on David’s voyage the following September. Since then one of the guardsman has applied to join an army sail training association and another was inspired to retrain as a medical orderly. He later returned to Afghanistan.
David said: “Being with these young men was a wonderful and indeed humbling experience for me, and I look forward to taking more of them, funded through Dougie's Trust, in the future.”
From left to right, Bob Goodwin (shot though the chest and lost a lung), Dale Leach (IED leg amputee above the knee), Scott Cooper (IED leg amputee below the knee), Greg Dunnings (IED leg injuries) and Billy Robinson (blast injuries to the face).