Llangollen company pledges to support charity for veterans

CHARITY PLEDGE: Launchpad’s Speke House’s David Jackson (left) with Jason Rickwood

Submitted by Craig Downs

An adventure and outdoor activity company in North Wales has pledged its support to a charity for veterans.

Bearded Men Adventures, based in LlangollenDenbighshire has agreed to donate 1% of its annual income from its activities to the charity Launchpad.

The activity company offers accommodation, catering, adventure and activities such as rafting, coasteering, river tubing, mountaineering and paddleboarding.

Bearded Men Adventures, formed in 2018 by Jason Rickwood and Hugh Luckock, who have bushy beards, is for everyone, including whole hen and bachelor party weekends.

Passionate about giving back to good causes, Jason and Hugh chose Launchpad as their charity and said they admire the work Launchpad does for veterans.

Launchpad provides vital accommodation and support for up to 100 veterans in three homes in the north of England and helps residents transition from military to civilian life.

The company invited staff and residents of Launchpad’s Speke House in Liverpool to experience a day of outdoor adventure activities including white water rafting.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS: Launchpad’s Speke House staff and residents enjoy a day out

Jason, 36, a veteran himself, served 12 months with the Royal Engineers and most of his family have an army connection, including his two brothers and father. As well as Bearded Men Adventures he is also a Level 4 Snowboard Instructor and teaches the Royal Navy Snowboard Team during the winter months.

Hugh, 34, said: “We’ve been going there for four years now and despite the impact of Covid-19 on our business, we’re really starting to see the business take off.

“Supporting veterans is a great thing to do and when we found out what Launchpad is doing to support veterans who might be struggling with the transition, we wanted to support them and be part of a charity that does positive things.”

Jan Buckley, Acting Activities Coordinator at Launchpad’s Speke House, who also attended the whitewater rafting day with seven residents, said: “We are so grateful to Jason and Hugh for stepping up to support Launchpad. We had a great day and all the residents It gave everyone a boost and it was good to see the residents bonding.

“Being outdoors and staying active provides a positive and empowering experience for our residents and is a good way for them to manage their mental health and well-being. All the participants talked about it and commented on how much fun they had. »

The company and Launchpad are exploring the possibility of a September camping trip for residents. This will be a two-day adventure activity program and will include wild camping and bushcraft skills.

Launchpad’s Speke House includes 50 self-contained apartments and common areas such as a living room, kitchen/dining room, computer suite and garden. Staff work with multiple partners to support each resident on their journey to independent living.


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