Mike Kennedy, an injured Royal Navy veteran, has created a limited-edition, handmade cricket bat to raise money for Help for Heroes.
It was in 2008 serving in Iraq that Mike was caught up in a rocket attack. He sustained massive injuries to his lower back and spent the next five years in and out of rehab.
In a bid to forge a new career, Mike, an outstanding cricketer, received support from Help for Heroes to get back on his feet, regain his confidence and he began to shape his future in cricket.
“It was a combination of events that led me to making cricket bats. Whilst in recovery I was working in the timber industry and was managing an estate with some willow trees. I realised how much of a demand there was for it and began supplying companies, but then realised there’s no reason I can’t make cricket bats too. From this, World Class Willow was set up.
“Although there have been huge challenges in the last year, we were lucky in getting the bats into the right people’s hands. Now we are in a position where we’re sponsoring international cricketers and they’re using my bats on the international stage. The feedback has been extremely humbling. It’s amazing to think that’s come around in some respect because of my injury.”
“When I got injured, one of my first thoughts was I’m never going to play cricket again. But through Help for Heroes I also got back to playing.
“I joined the Help for Heroes Cricket team. It has been an incredible journey and I’ve seen what cricket and the team itself can do for me and for others, and the potential it has to inspire people to take control of their lives and even give them the confidence to start a new career.”
Mike has done exactly that and quite literally carved a career out of cricket using the skills and eye for detail that he honed in the Navy. According to many first-class cricketers, the bats are now very much considered world-class.
He now wants to give back to ensure others have the opportunities he has had.
The limited-edition run of 100 Help for Heroes cricket bats from World Class Willow can be purchased at worldclasswillow.com/bats/help-for-heroes/. £10,000 will be donated to the charity, which will support more veterans, like Mike, on their recovery journey.
Retail price is: £500
The bats are handmade to the individual buyers specifications.
Free Standard UK Delivery on all orders £40+. Up to £39.99 it is £3.95.
Standard UK delivery is 5-7 working days but please note deliveries are taking longer at this time.
EU orders take 1-2 weeks and orders to the rest of the world will take between 2-4 weeks.
For even more information on our delivery service, please follow this link: https://shop.helpforheroes.org.uk/pages/delivery
Returns are FREE in the UK with a return label included in your parcel.
** Extended returns: Items ordered after 24th March 2020 can be returned up to 3 months later. Please note that refunds may take a bit longer to process than usual.**
We are only able to offer exchanges of ‘like for like’ items in the instance where the product is damaged or faulty.
We advise that when making a return, that you obtain proof of postage from the Post Office so that we can track this. From the day that you make the return, it will take up to two weeks for this to arrive back at our warehouse and to go through our returns process, with a further 3-5 working days for the refund/exchange to be issued to you.
For more information on our Returns Policy, please follow this link to our website: https://shop.helpforheroes.org.uk/pages/returns-refunds