Double celebration at Help for Heroes centre

Yorkshire’s Invictus Games athletes brought the perfect birthday present to staff at Yorkshire’s £10.7m Help for Heroes recovery centre - medals.

Yorkshire Invictus Games medallists Mikey Hall and Dave Hubber pictured at the Phoenix House Rrecovery Centre, Catterick Garrison. Picture: Simon Hulme

Dave Hubber and Mikey Hall returned to Phoenix House at Catterick Garrison yesterday as the centre, which provides specialist rehabilitation to sick and injured veterans, celebrated a year since it opened.

The facility is the only one of its kind in the north of England and goes beyond physical rehabilitation, treating “hidden wounds” with psychological help, providing education and arts, and access to practical support.

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Both Mr Hubber, of Ripon, who was injured in 2001 while playing ice hockey for the army, and Mr Hall, of Richmond, who broke his neck and back after falling on an assault course near Catterick Garrison in 2000, received support from the centre prior to the Games last week.

In total, nine of the Great Britain forces team were helped by Phoenix House, and brought home nine gold medals, four bronze and two silver.

The Invictus Games were set up by Prince Harry and saw injured and wounded servicemen and women from around the world compete in four days of events.

Both veterans competed in archery events, with Mr Hubber, who served in the Royal Logistics Corps, claiming two golds and Mr Hall winning a bronze and a gold.

Centre manager, retired Colonel Mo Usman said the centre’s staff were delighted to have “played a small part” in sending athletes to the games.

Preparation for the Invictus Games was part of a similar scheme, ‘From the Front Line to the Start Line’, which prepares athletes for selection to the Paralympic team. It also hosts its own ‘Phoenix Games’.

Mr Usman said: “It has been a real double celebration. Dave and Mikey show what can be achieved if people come through a facility like this.”