Photography degree student Lee is battling back on his bike
A photography degree student at The Northern School of Art, Lee Bullivant, who is also an army veteran, is now the proud owner of a new specially created ICE Trikes ‘King Charles III, Coronation’ edition recumbent trike.
Donated by the Royal British Legion and the Royal Yorkshire Regiment to help with his rehabilitation, the trike was presented to the second year BA Hons Photography degree student at a special ceremony at the Tommy WW1 memorial statue in Seaham.
Lee was born in Bradford, but now lives and studies in Hartlepool. He served with The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire 2000 to 2005 but knee surgery and a fractured spine put him in hospital in Wakefield for three months, learning to walk again.
When he attended rehabilitation at the Royal British Legion Battle Back Centre, his medical conditions were deemed serious enough to ensure that he used a recumbent bike that allowed him to participate in a safe and pain-free manner. Using an Ice Trike, Lee reported enjoying the “sense of freedom”, saying that if he could use a similar bike to stay fit, it would help improve his mental health and reduce his sense of isolation.
Lee said: “The Battle Back Centre was fantastic and taught me a can-do attitude instead of can’t-do attitude and the staff were brilliant, supporting me through the programme. And to be back on a bike after so many years was fantastic. My experience of the Battle Back has also pushed me forward to study at university and to try and keep fit. I do still go for a morning walk as taught at the Battle Back Centre.”
It was then that the military charities and regiment stepped in, considering the recommendation that Lee would be an excellent candidate for a recumbent trike.
Major Mick Lynch, Chairman of the Regimental Association that looks after veterans’ affairs said: “We were first alerted to Lee’s case in February after he had attended a rehabilitation program run by The Royal British Legion. During the course he had been introduced to the idea of a recumbent trike, which provided him with the level of mobility that he obviously needed.
“Thanks to the Royal British Legion, The Royal Yorkshire Regiment was happy to contribute to the purchase and we’ve been even more surprised that the manufacturers have delivered a special, no #01 ‘Coronation‘ edition of the trike.”
Major Lynch added: “It was only on 5 April that HM The King appointed us, a Royal Regiment. Each Year, The Royal Yorkshire Regiment contributes around £100,000 to cases of need in support of our veterans young and old. I would urge anyone out there who has served with us and our forebears and is in need of support to get in touch with us. Just look at what we have achieved for Lee, one of our younger veterans here today.”
And finally, from Lee; “This bike is a lifeline for me and will enable me to get out and about, keep fit, and meet with other veterans, this will all help with mental health and my PTSD. I tried other ways of keeping fit, but my injuries and limitations held me back I’m really grateful to the regiment and the Royal British Legion and Army Benevolent Fund for the help they’ve given me.
“I’m now studying for a BA Honours in Photography at The Northern School of Art in Hartlepool and, as part of my rehab, the bike will allow me to get to previously hard to reach places, so I can put my new found hobby and skills to the test.
“Once I am fit again, I would like to cycle John o’ Groats to Lands End to give something back.”
See Lee’s photography on his Instagram page @lee_bullivant_photography_