- News & Events
- No comments
Matt Southwould is an English former-soldier from Plymouth, South Devon who lost his leg because of service-related injuries. Despite the challenges he faces every day as an amputee Matt is taking on the tremendous challenge of sailing 2,000 miles in an initiative organised by a charity that helps veterans heal emotional and physical trauma through sailing expeditions.
From Desperation to Exhilaration
After leaving the army Matt spent ten years suffering with various service-related injuries that took him in and out of hospital. A haematoma was eventually discovered which resulted in his right leg being amputated. Although the operation was successful, the veteran developed septicaemia and had to spend a further four months in hospital. Besides the physical injuries sustained, Matt struggled to focus on building his life up again and felt his life was spiralling out of control. It took some time and the help of various charities focused on helping veterans before Matt gradually started turning his life around. With his confidence returning Matt started living life to the fullest. He has been on many adventures like shark diving in South Africa and touring on a motorbike across the United States – and now Matt is about to embark on an equally exhilarating sailing excursion.
Sailing Around The Coast of Britain
In August Matt and his crew of 17, who have little or no experience on the water will embark on a journey of a lifetime. They plan to set sail on a 94-foot Mersey pilot schooner called The Spirit of Falmouth. The sailors intend making their way around the British coast over a period of eight weeks by harnessing the power of the wind. They expect that navigating the 2,000 miles will take its toll on Matt and his crew both physically and mentally, but will give them an enormous sense of achievement once the incredible journey draws to an end.
Helping Veterans Rebuild Their Lives
The Falmouth charity called Turn to Starboard arranges sailing trips with the aim of helping participants learn new skills while also highlighting the challenges faced by veterans leaving the service. The event is backed by The Endeavour Fund and Matt and his team can be sponsored by the public here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=MattSouthwould