Falklands War veteran Simon Weston
Veteran Simon - last year named Britain's most heroic figure and the nation's favourite war hero in two separate polls, and recently awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours - has become an Ambassador for St Martins Care, after being impressed with our commitment to providing excellence in care.
Having received enduring medical care since sustaining life-changing injuries in 1982, Simon is a passionate advocate of the vital role that medical and practical support plays in aiding recovery from illness and trauma.
Aged only 20, Welsh Guardsman Simon suffered 46 per cent burns when the Sir Galahad ship was bombed en route to Bluff Cove in the Falklands. Out of his platoon of 30 men, 22 were killed. Simon was given only a slim chance of survival and has endured years of reconstructive surgery, including more than 70 major operations.
Visting the North East recently, Simon toured two St Martins Care Homes - Willow Green in Darlington and Woodside Grange in Thornaby, Teesside - meeting residents and their families and giving them a first-hand account of his inspirational story. He also officially opened an extension to the home in Thornaby.
Kevin Pattison, Managing Director of St Martins Care, said: "Over the course of many years, we have worked hard to provide the highest standards of care in the best possible facilities. We have long believed our genuine commitment to delivering excellence is what really sets us apart, and to have the endorsement of Simon Weston for our work is truly fantastic. Simon knows only too well how important and indeed life-changing outstanding care can be, so it is a real mark of distinction to have him as our Ambassador.
We are very grateful Simon has come up to the region to spend the day with some of our residents and their families and look forward to welcoming him back to the North East again in the near future."
"I have been given expert and wonderful care throughout my life and fully appreciate the importance of people who provide high quality care for others either for age or infirmity. I enjoyed working closely with a Military Care Home for over 20 years and my new role with St Martins Care gives me the opportunity to be able to contribute to and develop a business dedicated to doing things 'properly'. I have always been about people and this is a perfect 'fit' for me to help people improve their quality of life and hopefully make them smile."