In 1851, a Scot called John McDouall Stuart took men through the interior of Australia from Darwin to Adelaide. This arduous adventure took months to complete through arid desert on horseback. One and a half centuries later a Scottish serving officer in Afghanistan, Alex Freeborn, brushed against his words and was so inspired by “the man whose amazing persistence, indomitable courage, and unfailing common sense enabled him to succeed in a mighty task in which most others would have failed” that he created a vision for repeating this expedition for the first time but this time with vulnerable veterans across the globe. The aim? To fundraise and highlight the amazing courage of these veterans and to help build the skills and confidence of the wider veteran community on their return to civilian life. And so was born Back Out There and the Stuart Expedition.
Central to SoLoCo’s DNA, what I love most about inspiration is that it can sit as a collection of words on a page, dormant for years until they catch someone’s eye and a spark is ignited and a new path is struck.
The vision of the Stuart Expedition struck Dean Bousfield who immediately signed up to help. Having been shot through the brain while serving in Afghanistan he was told he would never walk again. Back Out There has given him the focus and long term goal he needs to get through his recovery. Not only is he now Ambassador to BOT, he is trialling for the paralympics and has even been voted to the top 20 for the Lynx Appollo space mission. He tweeted on 26th March that he has just beaten his walking record of 1km in 40 minutes.
His blog , which you can read on the sidebar here is inspiring people from all walks of life and backgrounds, both military and civilian including my 10 year old daughter who made a presentation to her class and announced that Dean is her hero. Little would John McDouall Stuart know he would be such a catalyst for courage further down the history line.
If you can inspire, whether through creativity, innovation or story-telling – if you can ignite dormant words or even lay them down, your crowdfund campaign could reach people you never knew existed and might even have an effect years down the line.
SoLoCo will be working with Back Out There throughout the 2013.