Mission Motorsport is a forces charity dedicated to turning lives around, taking Wounded, Injured and Sick personnel (WIS) from across the British Armed Forces and giving them hope, purpose and the skills needed to transition into work in civilian life.
Mission Motorsport aim to inspire & rebuild confidence, help in the development of new & existing skills, provide training & direct vocational support & assistance, & help establish paths to employment. In their fourth year, they have helped over 500 personnel by inspiring and showing even badly disabled personnel that they can contribute to a team, and they can have real purpose in life.
Pte Matt Noakes from Crewe was a mobilised Army reservist for 6 years following a career in the Marines.
Having been deployed to Afghanistan in a reconnaissance infantry role, he took a shoulder injury under fire in Helmand Province. Still receiving treatment due to complications and after several operations he was medically discharged from the Army.
Pte Noakes Matt joined Mission Motorsport in 2012 at a number of events as part of the mechanical support crew, including the Britcar 24hr race and has driven race cars at the Nurburgring and Spa, an experience which he loved.
Matt attended a vocational tour of the Bentley Motors factory in Crewe and through the Mission Motorsport vocational provision started working at Bentley Motors Ltd in a Defence Recovery Placement. Due to his hard work and commitment this has led to full time employment, with aspirations to work for Bentley’s Motorsport department. Matt has also worked for Aston Martin Racing as pit crew for the World Endurance Championships, including the prestigious Le Mans 24hr race
Matt is clear on the difference that sport has made to his life:
“Having to spend time away from soldiering and the job I loved had been quite a challenge, boredom played an evil part of being injured and that lead to all sorts of problems with my mind”.
Matt was diagnosed with PTSD and admitted:
“I was in a very dark place, I wasn’t a shadow of my former self, I had lost all my confidence and enthusiasm for life, as things were spiralling out of control Mission Motorsport came to the rescue, as a massive all round petrol head the opportunity to work with Mission Motorsport has opened up avenues upon avenues for me to participate whilst injured along with opportunities for employment”.
“I owe a lot to Mission Motorsport, possibly my life, I just hope I can do them proud and show what us Mission men and women are made of, and give the charity the recognition it deserves”.
With Matt’s ever growing confidence he is now living the dream that he never thought possible, becoming a racing driver! Only recently passing his ARDS test Matt has become Mission Motorsport’s latest racing driver. Completing his first race at Oulton Park he admitted it was a difficult introduction to racing with terrible weather conditions and mechanical problems, however, proudly finishing the race he is now driven to show what he is made of.
With the Mission Motorsport race team made up of WIS Personnel, Matt will be in the front seat again alongside James Webley who was a Corporal in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers and had also been medically discharged.
This time at the Lotus Festival on the 15th and 16th August at Brands Hatch.
Everyone is welcome, come and show your support to Matt & the Mission Motorsport team.
Tickets are available from www.lotus-festival.com