A VETERAN who was injured when his parachute failed to open has donated three new gym bikes to a military recovery centre.

Former soldier Jim Holborn handed Phoenix House Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Catterick two recumbent gym trikes and a new spinning bike.

The 36-year-old father of two bought the equipment with money raised from a sponsored bike ride he organised along the route of Hadrian’s Wall.

Known as the Emperor Ride, it saw 24 cyclists cover a 100-mile route over two days last May.

The team more than doubled the £3,000 they hoped to raise, enabling him to buy three pieces of equipment.

Mr Holborn was injured when his parachute failed to open while he was serving with the Royal Logistic Corps in 2008 – falling 800ft to the ground, snapping all the ligaments and tendons in his left ankle.

After learning to walk again, he was deployed to Iraq, and has since suffered from mental health problems.

Having been supported in his recovery at Phoenix House, he wanted to “give something back” to fellow veterans.

“When I was discharged the support for veterans was badly advertised,” he said. “I struggled with returning home but finding Phoenix House instantly changed my life.

“The response from other veterans has been great. They are over the moon to have something new in the gym.

“Exercise has played a huge part in my life and if, through providing these bikes to the recovery centre, I can encourage one or two wounded veterans to go into the gym and give them a try, it will have been worth all the effort.”

Millie Lepic, Phoenix House physical development coach, said the recumbent trikes will help those with lower back and hip injuries who can’t use the traditional gym bikes.

She said: “The recumbent bikes are for those with limited mobility as they have a smaller range of movement.

“They can be tailored to suit all fitness levels, and as with all the other equipment in the gym they can be used by wheelchair users.”

Hoping to build on his success and create an annual fundraising event in the North, Mr Holborn is planning another Emperor Ride this summer.

Along with other veterans at the centre, he is training in the hope of being selected for this year’s Invictus Games in Australia.