Matthew Charles Hellyer – CEO

As a Parachute Regiment recruit he was awarded both the Prince of Wales Badge and Champion Recruit. He successfully passed UKSF selection and reached the rank of Warrant Officer in the SAS. He served in every conflict over the past 3 decades completing over 400 operations.

He was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer in 2013, and after treatment was forced to leave the military in 2014.

He now owns a global security company and a social enterprise helping military veterans with the transition into civilian employment.

Email MATT

Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis – Patron

Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis is the Chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee. He was elected to this post by his fellow Members of Parliament in 2015 and re-elected in 2017.
Julian has been Conservative MP for New Forest East since 1997. From 2010 to 2015, he was a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, and before that Shadow Minister for the Royal Navy, nuclear deterrent and strategic issues.

On becoming a Patron of the Pilgrim Bandits in July 2016, Julian said: “I feel privileged to be a Patron, having watched with admiration how the charity has developed over recent years – championing new ideas for our injured and working with disadvantaged youngsters, as well as organising its famously extreme challenges for the veterans. The charity’s ‘No Sympathy’ ethos instils confidence and self-belief in men and women with the most appalling injuries and encourages them to share experiences with others, to the benefit of all.”

L Cpl Tyler Christopher – Patron

Tyler Christopher – Veteran. Lance Corporal, 2 RGJ followed by 4Rifles after the amalgamation. GB Sledge Hockey Player.

It is with the greatest honour and thanks that I accept the position of Ambassador for the Pilgrims Bandits Charity. I was injured in Afghanistan whilst on foot patrol on 13th August 2009. I was also 13th in line, Unlucky for some. Once realisation set in that it was me injured, I felt what can only be described as warm water like a tap dripping down my legs before I realised they were no longer there, I was very lucky to have kept my right arm as this too was badly damaged. I had internal injuries, lost both legs above the knee, but worst of all… I lost my camera which had all my tour photos on it.

Since injury I have gone on to excel in my chosen sport of Sledge Hockey, I used to play field hockey and inline hockey before I was injured so to find a similar adapted sport suited me down to the ground. I now play for GB and we narrowly missed out on a place in the Winter Paralympics 2014.

Pilgrim bandits have helped to show me I can still get out and do activities that I used to enjoy, and after travelling 500 miles down the Yukon river proves just that. I have recently completed my level one coaching for kayaking which I now hope to use to help teach others to enjoy this great activity. Pilgrim Bandits have given me a new sense of purpose and I will be forever grateful for that.


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