Senior Army Officer injured in Afghanistan receives Honorary Doctorate

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Date: 10th Sep 2018

A former senior British Army Officer who commanded Forces in Afghanistan before being seriously wounded has received an Honorary Doctorate from Buckinghamshire New University for his inspirational leadership and work with Help for Heroes.

David Richmond underwent four years of reconstruction surgery and rehabilitation after being shot by the Taliban during a Battle Group operation near Musa Qaleh, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2008.David Richmond CBE

He received his Honorary Doctorate from Bucks New University at the Wycombe Swan theatre in High Wycombe on Friday 7 September during a week of graduation celebrations.

At the time he was injured Mr Richmond was Commanding Officer of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and during his treatment advised Help for Heroes and the Ministry of Defence on the creation and development of recovery services.

Having been medically discharged from the Armed Forces in April 2012 he joined Help for Heroes, initially as the first Centre Manager at its Tedworth House Recovery Centre and then overall Recovery Director. The recovery service has now supported over 18,000 wounded, injured and sick servicemen, veterans and families.

Speaking about his Honorary Doctorate he said: “Receiving the letter from the Vice-Chancellor inviting me to become an Honorary Doctor of the University was an incredible surprise and I have to admit that I read the letter twice to make sure that, first, it was addressed to me, and second, that I had read it properly.

“I feel truly honoured to have been given this award but know that so much of what I have been involved in over many years has been successful due to the talent and commitment of the great people in the teams I have been part of and privileged to lead. So, I believe that this recognises their incredible work too.

“I am looking forward enormously to graduation day and to meeting the University staff and students who will graduate and move onto the next stage of their lives, and I’m also looking forward to supporting the University over the coming years.”

David Richmond and Jonpaul NevinPaul Morgan, Head of School - Human and Social Sciences at Bucks New University, said: “We are delighted to offer David this award and it has been a pleasure to meet him at the university with other colleagues.

“We became aware of David’s background through a member of our sport science staff team who works part time for Help for Heroes.

“His work with Help for Heroes through the Sports Recovery Programme is inspiring and positively impacted on so many individuals' lives. We are committed to inspiring academic and career success at Bucks and David is a fantastic role model for the whole University community.”

At Help for Heroes, Mr Richmond was responsible for its work with beneficiaries, which included the four Recovery Centres at Tidworth, Catterick, Colchester and Plymouth, and all the services delivered within and from them.  

These services included the Band of Brothers and Band of Sisters fellowships, Sports Recovery, Psychological Wellbeing, Health and Physical Wellbeing, Welfare, Career Recovery and Grants.

Additionally, Mr Richmond was a Partnership Board Member of the Invictus Games team for the first three Games and also worked as UK Team Director.  

With the MoD he was a member of the Defence Recovery Board, responsible for providing strategic direction to the UK Defence Recovery Capability.

Mr Richmond’s extensive range of work has also included sitting on Lord Boyce’s Review of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS); working as a member of the Independent Medical Advisory Group of the AFCS; and as a member of the King's Centre for Military Health Research Advisory Board at King’s College London.

He also founded and chaired the Contact Group, which brings together the military charities engaged in delivering mental health support to veterans and their families with the MOD, various parts of the NHS and others working together to improve the quality of support available to those suffering from mental health and/or wellbeing challenges.

Mr Richmond is also a member of the Advisory Board of Try for Change, the Rugby Football Union’s charity seeking to achieve social change through the power and values of rugby; a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of Veterans for Wildlife; and a member of the Core Advisory Group of the NatCen Mental Health Evidence Review commissioned by the Forces in Mind Trust.

He left Help for Heroes in December 2017 and his work now includes advising other nations on creating or developing their own recovery services for wounded, injured and sick servicemen, veterans and families; advising corporate organisations on developing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes; delivering leadership and team development training; coaching and mentoring; and motivational/ leadership speaking.

In 2012, Mr Richmond was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to wounded, injured and sick servicemen and their families.

Picture captions: David Richmond CBE with his Honorary Doctorate and with Jonpaul Nevin, Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning, who also works with Help for Heroes.

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