Image for Walking with the Wounded News - National Volunteers' Week: OP-REGEN / (National Volunteers Week- Ian Rudge 
 - National Volunteers Week- Ian Rudge 

National Volunteers' Week: OP-REGEN

This week marks National Volunteers' Week. To celebrate this, we are going to feature some of the brilliant people who have given up their time to support those who served.

As a charity, Walk With The Wounded (‘WWTW’) depends on the generosity of the corporate community. Recently OP-REGEN, WWW's volunteering programme has been supporting Manchester City Council to deliver food parcels to vulnerable residents across Greater Manchester. We would not have been able to carry out this vital work without the support from Thrifty, who generously donated the use of 4 of their vehicles to our volunteers.

In this blog post, we hear from Ian, an OP-REGEN volunteer about why he is supporting OP-REGEN and WWTW.

Hi Ian, tell us a bit about your background?

I served in the Royal Navy for 8 years, following my time in Service, I worked for First Buses as a driver for nearly thirty years before suffering from depression that led to me feeling isolated.

Why did you volunteer with OP-REGEN?

I have received support from Walking With The Wounded and I wanted to give something back. OP-REGEN gives me the opportunity to give back to my community. I also feel a sense of pride in taking part in a project that makes a difference.

How does it make you feel to be supporting the most vulnerable during Covid-19?

I am supporting OP-REGEN by delivering food parcels to vulnerable residents across Great Manchester and I am really enjoying meeting new people. I take the time to talk to them and tell them about why I am volunteering and the journey I have had to get to where I am today.

When I felt at my lowest, I was reluctant to get outside and leave my flat, however, I am now taking a leading role with OP-REGEN and coordinating other volunteers. I feel proud of what we have achieved as a team and feel that we have developed a small community.

Would you recommend OP-REGEN to other members of the armed forces community?

Absolutely! I would recommend OP-REGEN to everyone. It’s a fantastic project that works to make everyone feel part of their community. Although the coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on our daily lives, it’s also helped communities rally together to support those that need it. I am proud to be part of OP-REGEN. We are working together to be part of the solution.

How has Thrifty support made this possible?

I want to say a big thank you to Thrifty. They have generously donated the use of their vehicles to OP-REGEN volunteers and without this support, we would not be able to have the positive impact that we have had. So far, OP-REGEN volunteers have delivered 1,049 parcels of food and provisions to 509 households and we are now operating 4 days per week. The support from Thrifty and their staff has been fantastic.

If you’d like to volunteer with OP-REGEN, please email