A heroes’ welcome for tireless walkers nearing the end of their 1,000-mile walking challenge
- Credit: Archant
Servicemen wounded by the effects of war were given a heroes' welcome by NHS and police staff as they continued their march through Norfolk.
Six injured veterans, who are nearing the end of their 1,000-mile walking challenge, met former servicemen at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital before being praised by Norfolk police commissioner Stephen Bett outside his Wymondham office later the same day.
The group, known as the Walk of Britain team, are completing a 72-day trek from Scotland to London, to raise awareness and money for soldiers' charity Walking with the Wounded.
Each team member has either a physical or cognitive injury from being in the line of duty.
As they approached the N&N in the morning, the group were met by former servicemen Naomi Adie and Palmer Winstanley who now work at the hospital.
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The duo were among the first pool of servicemen who found jobs in the NHS following a pilot programme called Step Into Health, which was launched at the N&N last year.
Sixteen former servicemen have been employed at the N&N since the programme's inception, while 70pc of veterans who completed a placement have gone on to get jobs in the NHS or take part in education programmes.
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Walker Matt Fisher, 31, who lost his leg serving in Afghanistan, said: 'It's important there's a bridge between the army and the NHS in terms of jobs.'
Naomi Adie, who used to work for the RAF and is now a department administrator at the N&N, said: 'There's a real sense of family in the NHS and you don't have to hide anything.'
After a short break at the hospital the team continued their walk, this time towards the office of Norfolk police and crime commissioner Stephen Bett in Wymondham.
Mr Bett and Norfolk chief constable Simon Bailey joined the group to walk the final mile of the leg.
They discussed Project Nova, a scheme where army veterans vulnerable to committing crime are referred to specialist support staff by the police.
Mr Bett said: 'It was an honour and a privilege to welcome the Walk Of Britain team to our offices.'
The group finish their 1,000-mile walk at Buckingham Palace on November 1.
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