The sister of a war veteran badly injured in Iraq is raising money for The Royal Star & Garter Homes.
Sian Cheesman, from New Malden, is leading the five-strong Team Vause in the notorious Tough Mudder obstacle course and hopes to raise £450 for the Charity, which has been caring for her brother Stephen Vause at its Surbiton Home since 2015.
Stephen, from New Malden, was just 19 and on his first tour of Iraq, serving with the 4thBattalion The Rifles, when he suffered brain injuries in a mortar explosion near Basra in 2007 which left him severely disabled.
Stephen requires 24-hour care from expert staff at The Royal Star & Garter Homes. He regularly receives physiotherapy at the Home, and staff support him in getting to hydrotherapy locally. Stephen’s disability means he uses a wheelchair and has limited speech, using a tablet to communicate.
Sian, 22, is assistant manager at the Well House Inn in Chipstead, Surrey. She said: “It was a struggle to find somewhere appropriate for Stephen. The Royal Star & Garter Homes is local, which is a bonus for us, and they work so hard with him. To have somewhere you can trust that really looks after him is amazing. The Charity has given him a home, and that’s the main thing. They have said he can stay there as long as he wants, which is a weight off our shoulders.
“The Royal Star & Garter Homes has done a lot for Stephen, it’s time to give something back.”
The five-mile Tough Mudder course features 13 obstacles and is designed to test teamwork and toughness.
In a show of appreciation to members of Team Vause, Stephen, 31, has been taking on his own set of 13 challenges. These include lifting weights, sit-ups and hand-eye coordination tasks.
Sian said: “Stephen has had to overcome more obstacles in his life than most people will ever have to. Now he’s completed his 13 challenges, and it’s our turn to complete ours.”
Stephen said: “I am proud of Sian for what she is doing to raise money for this brilliant care home. I think this home has excellent staff members who give good support to me and the rest of the residents.”
The Royal Star & Garter Homes provides care for ex-Service people and their partners who live with disability or dementia.
The Charity is exploring options to develop care for younger veterans, like Stephen, enabling them to live more independently.
To sponsor Team Vause go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teamvause