Prince Harry has penned a heartfelt letter to Mark Ormrod MBE thanking him for his decade of service to the Royal Marines Charity as the Plymouth war hero looks to pursue other causes and spend more time with his loving family.
The former Royal Marine and triple amputee is one of Plymouth’s most inspiring people and is well known around the UK as someone that faces his challenges head-on and rallies people with disabilities.
For the last decade, while raising his three children with wife Becky and embarking on a range of projects, Mark has worked for the Royal Marines Charity (previously known as The Royal Marines Association) with particular responsibility for fundraising, welfare work and recruitment.
He recently decided to take a step back from this role to support his wife with her job and to focus on his family and other projects.
“My wife got a new job last year and it has quick progression. That, as well as homeschooling the children while both of us work full-time [has been busy].
“I felt naturally it was time to step down and let Becky do her thing! I’m in a good place, I’m pleased with what I’ve done, I just decided it was a good time [to step down].”
Valiant Mark has shared a photo of the letter he received from Prince Harry with his 20,000 followers on Twitter.
The correspondence, dated February 2 2021, says: “Dear Mark, I heard the news that you are stepping back from your role at the Royal Marines Charity and wanted to send you my warmest congratulations on all that you’ve achieved in your time there.
“In this role you’ve given another incredible 10 years of service to the Royal Marines community – not only through the invaluable welfare support you’ve been integral in delivering to individuals and their families but also by the inspirational example you set on a daily basis, challenging the idea that disability defines what’s possible and encouraging others facing similar experiences.
“It’s fantastic to know you will remain connected as a charity ambassador and I very much look forward to seeing what the next chapter brings for you – I have no doubt there will be great things!
“Meghan and I send you, Becky and your family our very best wishes for the year ahead and beyond.”
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Back in 2007, the former commander was serving in Afghanistan when he tragically stepped on an IED.
As a result of the explosion, Mark had to have both his legs and part of his right arm amputated, but instead of withdrawing from the community and being defined and defeated by his new disabilities, Mark used them to spur him on to make a positive difference – and soon become an internationally-acclaimed motivational speaker, performance coach, mentor and author.
Mark, 37, told PlymouthLive he has had a hectic week receiving praise and support, not just from Prince Harry, but Major General Matthew John Holmes, Commandant General in the Royal Marines.
He said: “It was an insane week! To have a letter from Prince Harry, it’s great to know I’m still on his radar, even though he’s out in America making his name out there!
“Ten years is a long time to give to anything, but it’s nice to know that people you look up to have noticed you from the shadows!”
“Major General Holmes is the highest-ranking currently in the marines,” he added.
“People like me just don’t hear from him! So to receive a handwritten letter, wow!”
While Mark will no longer be working officially for the Royal Marines Charity he will still be an ambassador for its cause.
He is currently looking at getting a deal for his second autobiography, while writing his third book and making progress with his film.
He signed a contract for the film last year, but when Covid-19 hit the UK, it had to be put on the backburner.
But Mark hopes to make progress with the film, especially its script, in the coming months.
“I’m looking at a deal for my second book, I’m writing my third book and I’m busy with my film,” he said.
“We signed the film contract before Covid, but then Covid hit, but we’ve been meeting the scriptwriters, so hopefully we’ll be making progress. We’re also applying for funding.”
Mark is also in the planning stages of setting up an online coaching business with a mentor and global businessman based in Poole.
It’s early days, Mark says, but he hopes to focus on “performing coaching” involving both the mind and the body.
“I want to teach people how to keep physically healthy and everything I’ve learnt over the years about meditation, nutrition, sleep and performance,” he said.
His books, film, new coaching business and his family will certainly keep him busy in the coming months, he says.
More information on his coaching business will be shared on his Facebook page in the coming months.
Letter from Major General M J Holmes CBE DSO, commandant general for the Royal Marines
Major General Holmes’ letter to Mark says: “Dear Mark, I wanted to write personally to you as you depart the RMA – The Royal Marines Charity.
“Selfless in your decision, you have been equally selfless and supportive to the Royal Marines, our charity and so many ‘Royals’ in need.
“In fact, I can think of no better role model who encapsulates and lives by the Commando ethos.
“You continue to inspire so many – and you’re not leaving us either.
“Once a marine. Thank you and good luck to you and your family.”
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