Amputees in Action is a unique agency which works to get amputee actors into film, television and emergency services and military training simulations. Coupled with their skilled special effects make-up team, the agency prides itself on achieving realism through their actor’s ability to bring their personal trauma and experience to roles. The company’s inspiration came when its Director – John Pickup – starred in Saving Private Ryan’s infamous D-Day landing opening scene (he’s the guy who picks his own arm up). Actors have since featured in Gladiator, Band of Brothers, Casualty, Being Human and Kick Ass –John has even met Brad Pitt on the set of World War Z, which Chris was obviously very jealous about.
Upon arriving at the magnificent 16th Century house we were greeted by the Kelly Black (Amputees in Action) who directed us to our home for the evening (via the bar), helped us set up and introduced us to other guests at the party. These included former paralympians, staff from Amputees in Action and people from across the prosthetics industries.
We were instantly made to feel very welcome, there was a real appetite to get involved in Legs4Africa’s work and an appreciation/empathy with what Legs4Africa is engaged in doing. Nearly everyone we spoke with had unused prosthetics to offer, or recommended a new point of contact to follow up with, it was both flattering and humbling to see how much support Legs4Africas has. Chris and I spent the evening eating, drinking… drinking some more… and chatting. There was a BBQ, speeches and prizes given out to those who have helped the agency grow during the 10 years. We even got to tour the magnificent house!
Generously, Amputees in Action had arranged for all proceeds from their honesty bar and raffle to be donated to Legs4Africa. Of the array of top prizes on offer in the raffle the most fought over were arguably the Legs4Africa t-shirts from our 2014 collection, so fashionably modelled by myself and our young Bruce Willis (at least in terms of hairline) – Chris Ingram.
Aside from prosthetics, Legs4Africa and Amputees in Action share other common ground in that we both try and give those who have suffered from limb loss the chance of a new life and opportunities. Many of those who donated could personally relate to the struggle faced by the people in Africa that L4A are trying to help, which made the donation even more meaningful.
As if the attendee’s donations weren’t enough, to top off a great evening Amputees in Action had a surprise for us… they matched the total sum of money raised in the raffle and honesty bar, providing Legs4Africa with a cheque for £758!!
This will go a long way towards helping get our next supply of prosthetics down to Gambia at the end of this year!!