A brand new podcast featuring veterans who were injured in combat joining forces with a series of celebrities to share how they’ve overcome obstacles in their life launches today, featuring ex-Countdown presenter Carol Vorderman.

Vorderman, whose father was injured when he stepped on an IED while working as a member of the Dutch Resistance, will open The Resilience Sessions’ first episode with veteran Simon Harmer, where they discuss how her challenging childhood motivated her to achieve amazing things.

The Resilience Sessions’ six episodes will be released over the next four weeks, featuring guests Jonny Benjamin, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Michael Caines, Vick Hope and Ray Winstone speaking with veterans Simon Harmer, Stewart Harris, Nerys Pearce, Mark Ormond, Shaun Stocker and Ken Bellringer.

The idea for the podcast was born out of a conversation between Alice Driver, founder of the Drive Project, were veterans deliver resilience workshops to teenagers across the UK, and Simon Harmer, a veteran who almost died after losing both legs in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan in 2009. It is supported by Blesma, a charity who provide assistance to serving and veteran members of the armed services who have experienced a loss or loss of use of limbs, hearing, speech or sight during or after service.

“During my rehabilitation in hospital, the days were busy with people coming and going, but at night it became a very lonely and sad place,” said Simon. “I wanted to put in my headphones and listen to something positive that would give me a sliver of hope and be part of a positive conversation.”

Alice added: “The Resilience Sessions podcast aims to create meaningful and inspiring conversations between two unlikely individuals, to talk about their experiences, careers, challenges and how they have handled resilience in their own lives, to act as an inspiration and support to those listening. We are using technology to connect veterans with others who have faced similar difficulties in life, to encourage their resilience against feelings of anxiety and poor self-esteem.”

Ian Waller, the operations director of Blesma, said: “Our Members’ inspirational stories of dealing with life-changing injuries are powerful examples of how crucial resilience is to recovery.

“The Resilience Sessions are designed to help people draw strength to face their own challenges and they clearly resonated with the personalities. Blesma is committed to supporting injured veterans to regain their independence and it is typical that they want to help others by talking about their experiences. We hope it will help promote resilience for listeners.”

The Resilience Sessions is available on all major podcast platforms. Download it here.

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