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Spring 2018


A day in the life Meet one of our clinical psychologists


Family values One man’s marathon challenge after his dad’s treatment by Combat Stress

Journey’s End Our involvement in this new film adaptation

Neil Oliver Our new Ambassador

I’ve realised that nothing is impossible” Read about former Gurkha Hari’s amazing Everest challenge


Find out more about this mental health condition




his issue of our magazine is packed full of news and developments. On page 6 there’s the amazing

story of former Gurkha Hari, who is attempting to climb Mount Everest this spring despite the loss of both his legs. Hari was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and received treatment from us in 2016. PTSD is the most common mental health issue we help veterans with and on page 9 find out about the condition and how it affects the brain. And on page 16 read about how one supporter has chosen to take on the London marathon and raise money for Combat Stress after we helped his father


CONTENTS Spring 2018 04



Family values


Cover story


Fun fundraising




A day in the life


What is PTSD?


Prize draw


Brothers in arms


Long-term support


Last word


Partner profiles

tackle his PTSD. For those of you still looking for a challenge to take up this year, why not join #TeamCombatStress for this year’s Nightrider event? We’ve still got spaces for this cycle event in London, Glasgow and Liverpool – check out the back page for more details.

Sue Freeth Chief Executive




The latest news Hari’s Mount Everest challenge Find out more about gifts in Wills Dr Manveer Kaur explains more about this mental health condition Our involvement in the film adaptation of ‘Journey’s End’

Working together

How we work with The Poppy Factory

The power of groups Our community groups

A marathon challenge for Rich Working with Fidelity International Clinical psychologist Reinhart Burger Win a Combat Stress goody bag Meet one of our Benefactors Combat Stress Ambassador Neil Oliver How Trinity House and The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity are supporting Combat Stress

HELPLINE: 0800 138 1619 (for veterans, serving personnel and their families)

Combat Stress, Tyrwhitt House, Oaklawn Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 0BX

Fundraising: 01372 587 151

Published by James Pembroke Media

General enquires: 01372 587 100

Produced by the Combat Stress Communications Team with contributions from veterans, supporters and employees. Thank you to everyone who has contributed towards this issue

Email: If you would like to change how you hear from us in the future please contact Francesca Crilly on 01372 587 151 or If you have read and enjoyed our magazine please pass it on to a friend or recycle

Photography by Suzie Larke, Marcus Ginns, Claire Batey, Ralph Hope and other contributors Combat Stress Company Registered in England & Wales No 256353. Charity Registration No 206002. Charity Scotland No SC038828. 3


UPFRONT The latest news and developments

Walk this way We’re asking for your support to walk 10 miles this March In the last 10 years the number of former servicemen and women who have contacted us for help has increased by a staggering 143% and research predicts a continuing demand for veterans mental health services in the next decade. By taking part in a 10-mile walk on any day during the month of March you can help raise funds to allow us to treat more veterans with mental health issues like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

For more information and to sign up visit It costs just £20 to take part. If you have any questions please contact challenges@combatstress. or call 01372 587 140

By taking part you can help raise funds”

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Combat Stress: ready to face the future Last September, we launched a consultation with employees and veterans following the unveiling of our new fi ve-year strategic plan. Our proposal was to deliver a simpler, more understandable and sustainable service that is more responsive to the needs of veterans. We spoke with veterans and employees to get their feedback and suggestions. Having taken into consideration all their feedback, we have now started to introduce changes to our services to provide the most effective treatment to more veterans who need our help, to provide that help more quickly, and to offer more flexible services that fi t around their work and family commitments. We have begun to integrate our treatment centres and community teams into regional teams. Working in this way will ensure veterans can access our services more easily and receive more coordinated support during their recovery. From April, our specialist triage nurses will also sit beside our Helpline team, improving the triage process so veterans have fewer steps to take and a quicker start to their recovery. Finally, our view is that residential treatment is not the only answer if we want to achieve more. To complement continuing to provide residential programmes in our treatment centres in Ayrshire and Surrey, we are starting to provide a number of non-residential programmes in our Central region that work around veterans’ existing commitments. The work of Combat Stress is as vital today as it was after the First World War and our new strategy will help ensure we are there for the veterans who need our help, now and in the future.


Save the Date

Dr Elgan from ‘Pobol y Cwm’, who develops PTSD

Soap opera storyline tackles PTSD Viewers of Welsh-language TV soap opera ‘Pobol y Cwm’ will have seen a recent storyline about one of their characters, a former Army doctor, being diagnosed and treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dr Elgan developed PTSD and depression after being traumatised by his experiences in recent conflicts.

Viewers saw Dr Elgan’s life spiral out of control”

Having left the Army, he attempted to hide his symptoms and moved to a small Welsh village to start afresh. However, viewers of the S4C drama saw Dr Elgan’s life begin to spiral out of control as his PTSD surfaced and he finally made the decision to seek help from Combat Stress. We spent the past year working with script writers on the drama to ensure the storyline was as accurate as possible and would encourage veterans who felt they needed our help to contact us. We’re very proud to have been involved in such an important storyline that highlights veterans’ mental health.

Channel 4 staff show support We’re lucky enough to be receiving support from a team who work for 4Creative (Channel 4’s in-house creative agency). They wanted to create something for a charity they are passionate about in their own time, and chose us. They are creating a short film for Combat Stress which we can use to help raise awareness of the support we offer veterans with mental health problems. The team are donating their time and resources to create this film free of charge. Once it’s ready, we’ll be sharing it on our website,

social media channels and showing it at our events. Thank you so much to Jack, Stacey, Barry, Jane and Liz – we really appreciate your support.

Barry, Jane, Jack and Stacey at Channel 4

22 MARCH Supporter Dinner Thursday 22 March 2018 is the date of our annual fundraising dinner – an exciting evening of dinner and entertainment at the luxury London hotel, The Langham. For more information or to book a table, please contact Nicolle MacKenzie on uk, call 01372 587 148 or visit

15 MAY Understanding the military mind Our annual Military Mind business symposium will take place this year on 15 May in London and 17 May in Edinburgh. Join us and learn how you can support veterans working in your organisation. The event is free to attend. For more information or to register, please contact Garry Burns, Corporate Partnership Manager, on or 01372 587 158. 5

My story: Hari

CONQUERING A DREAM Hari’s life changed in an instant when he was caught in a bomb blast in Afghanistan. Now, after treatment from Combat Stress, he’s planning to climb Mount Everest


limbing Mount Everest is a challenge not many of us would take on but amazingly one former British Gurkha who lost both his legs in Afghanistan is planning to do just that. Hari, who served with the Royal Gurkha Rifles, is aiming to become the first above-knee double amputee to summit Mount Everest. Hari, who received treatment from Combat Stress during 2016 for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), decided to take on this huge challenge to realise a childhood dream. “I grew up in Nepal and have wanted to climb Mount Everest all my life. As a child, it was too expensive; as a Gurkha, there wasn’t the time; but now, after what I’ve been through, it’s time to conquer my dream. “My physical and mental injuries have meant I’ve had to adapt my life but I’ve realised that nothing is impossible – you just need to find a different way of doing it.” Life-changing moment Hari joined the Gurkhas aged 20 and his tours took him around the world. He was a versatile,

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junior non-commissioned officer with a very bright future in the British Army. It was in Afghanistan that everything changed. “It was 2010 and I was 31. I was on patrol and something went bang – it was an improvised explosive device (IED). My life changed instantly.” Hari lost both legs above the knee and sustained multiple injuries. Four years later, he was discharged from the Army. “It was after I left the military that my mental health problems began. I used to get angry very quickly and I started to use alcohol to try to control my emotions and the pain. I really didn’t want to admit that I needed help – I was used to be being so strong – but when a friend said ‘you need help’, I found the courage to approach Combat Stress.” Hari was diagnosed with PTSD and attended the charity’s six-week PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme. “Coming to Combat Stress was so helpful. I learnt so much and I still use lots of the skills today, especially meditation, grounding and breathing techniques.”

Hari served with the Royal Gurkha Rifles

My story: Hari

Hari has been in training for almost two years. He’s already made history by becoming the first double above-knee amputee to summit a peak over 6,000 metres by climbing Nepal’s Mera Peak in September 2017. He’s pictured here on the peak, pointing out Everest in the distance

New challenges Hari now lives in Canterbury with his wife and three young children. He has participated in lots of events and challenges to support causes that provide help to veterans. “My life changed in a millisecond and I didn’t know what to do. It was very hard but I made myself try some sports. I found that, actually, everything was possible and that gave me the confidence to try more things.” Since his injury, Hari has learnt to skydive and play golf, re-learned alpine skiing, rock climbing and kayaking, run a biathlon, won a gold medal for archery and a bronze medal in wheelchair table tennis, and become an avid cyclist. He’s also joined a wheelchair rugby team and a basketball team. Hari will attempt to climb Mount Everest

this spring with a team that includes another Gurkha veteran and a former US Marine. “Climbing Mount Everest has many challenges and every step of the climb will be a struggle for me physically. Climbing really helps me mentally though. You really have to focus on your breathing – I use the techniques I learnt at Combat Stress. There’s no time to think of anything else.”

Rock climbing is just one of the many sports Hari has taken up since his injury

Follow the dream To read more about Hari’s challenge, or to support him with a donation for his climb visit Follow his progress on Facebook at Conquering Dreams or on Instagram @conqueringdreams_official. 7

Legacy: Show your support


Veteran Rich today, enjoying life with his partner Beth

Find out more about giving a gift in your Will


riting a Will is an easy thing to put off. There are so many other things that seem important. But did you know you could write a Will in the time it takes to make a cup of tea? Dying without officially recording your intentions means your wishes are unknown, which can cause real financial stress for your loved ones. A Will is also a chance to leave gifts for others. Currently 21% of funds we receive are from gifts in Wills. It’s a vital source of funding, which helps us to provide our unique, free treatment to veterans with mental health problems. Information events We know there is a lot to think about and you might have questions about what gifts in Wills are used for, as well as the whole process of writing a Will. To help answer your questions, we are going to be holding some regional events. These are to provide information only – there is no pressure at all. It’s a chance to learn more about gifts in Wills and to gain an insight into our work. The events will include talks by a veteran and our specialist staff, and there will be people on hand to answer any questions you may have. For more information, please contact Sarah Seddon in our Legacy team on 01372 587 144 or

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Rich during his time in the Army

I’m leaving a legacy so the charity can continue to provide help to those in the future who, like me, need someone to turn to in their darkest hour” Former Intelligence Corps Operator, Rich, who after help with his PTSD from Combat Stress, got his life back in balance and has pledged to leave a legacy to the charity.

Free Will writing We’ve also teamed up with The Honey Group to offer a free Will-writing service. Visit for more information.

In focus: PTSD


Dr Manveer Kaur, Senior Clinical Psychologist

Dr Manveer Kaur, Senior Clinical Psychologist at Combat Stress, explains more about this mental health condition


TSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder and it’s the most common mental health issue we treat. It’s one of a few mental health conditions where you have to have gone through a specific type of traumatic event to get it – you must have thought your life or someone’s else’s life was in danger, at risk of serious injury or attack.

Warning signs As a result of going through this event, you develop a certain set of symptoms: • Re-experiencing symptoms This is when the memory of what happened to you has not been stored correctly and consequently it keeps popping into your mind uncontrollably. This could happen as a nightmare or as a flashback (when you actually feel like your body is back in the horrible event).

• Hyperarousal symptoms These can include panic attacks, being easily upset or angry, disturbed sleep or a lack of sleep, irritability or aggressive behaviour, and extreme alertness – you are always on the lookout for danger. • Avoidance symptoms Because the memories are so unpleasant and the feelings associated with them so awful, you avoid anything that is going to cause that memory to come into your head more readily. Triggers come in all shapes and sizes – it might be crowds, loud sounds or anniversaries such as Remembrance Day. • Negative mood symptoms You might have thought you were a good person, believe other people are generally kind and trustworthy and the world is a safe place. But after going through a traumatic event, you can be left thinking you’re not

PTSD is a recognised medical condition” a good person, you didn’t do enough, the world is unpredictable and dangerous. It can leave you with a negative and bleak way of thinking. Many veterans we help are confused about what’s wrong with them and question if they are mad. Why them? Does it say something about their character? The answer is no. Whilst most people recover from traumatic events, a small but significant proportion continue to experience problems and it is a recognised medical condition. 9

In focus: PTSD

PTSD AND THE BRAIN There are three parts of the brain key to understanding PTSD – we’ve given them our own names to help explain

1. The command centre Responsible for planning, strategy and organisation During a traumatic event, the brain takes the decision to go into fight or flight mode and puts the command centre offline.

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2. The guard hut Designed to keep us safe The guard hut is usually just on standby but if it feels in danger, it tells the body to go into fight or flight mode, getting ready to either attack the threat, run from it or freeze. This part of the brain is also where our memories first enter, but they are filed in no particular order and prone to popping out uncontrollably.

In focus: PTSD

2 3. The records office


Memories are sent from the guard hut and filed away neatly here The quality of the memory changes when it moves here. It’s filed in order, it’s date stamped and it doesn’t feel as vivid. For many people, after the trauma is over, you have the support, time and space to think about what happened and how you feel. The command centre comes back online, the guard hut and the records office start talking again and the memories start to get filed away and fade.

What happens to the brain during a traumatic event? During a traumatic event, the brain takes the decision not to waste resources filing memories, so the connection between the guard hut and the records office (see left and above) is lost. All resources are focused on reacting to the danger. For some people, who haven’t had the opportunity to think about what’s happened, the link between the guard hut and the records office never comes back online and the memories are not filed properly. When the command centre comes back in action, it can start criticising the actions you took, creating feelings of guilt. PTSD is not just about what happened to you but how you are left thinking about it. There is effective treatment available for PTSD. NHS NICE guidelines currently recommend two evidence-based forms

of treatment: trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR). Both the trauma-focused CBT and EMDR allow the individual to process the traumatic memories, nightmares and flashbacks by helpling to confront what has happened in a measured, safe way. At Combat Stress we provide trauma-focused therapies. People can talk through the event to change their view on what happened. This can help them to process the memory and file it away properly.

Further support Help fund our treatment of PTSD visit to make a donation. 11

In focus: Journey’s End


Veterans supported by Combat Stress have played a crucial role in the development of a new film adaptation of ‘Journey’s End’ featuring actors Sam Claflin, Paul Bettany, Asa Butterfield and Tom Sturridge


ritten as a play in 1928 by an officer who served in the First World War, ‘Journey’s End’ offers a harrowing glimpse of the experiences of a group of British Army officers awaiting the inevitable German attack in 1918. Veterans and employees at Combat Stress spent 18 months working with the filmmakers to ensure the prominent mental health aspect of the storyline was portrayed as accurately as possible. Actors Sam Claflin, Paul Bettany, Asa Butterfield and Tom Sturridge, and the film’s director, producer and writer met veterans to get an insight into their experiences. “The time we had together was one of the most mind-blowing three or four hours I’ve ever had,” said lead actor Sam Claflin who plays shell-shocked officer Captain Stanhope in the film. “I learned more about real war than any book could tell me. It really touched me; the fact that the

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Sam Claflin as Captain Stanhope, the officer in charge of ‘C’ Company who is struggling to contain his emotions in the face of the impending German attack

veterans were willing to open up was life-changing for us.” Unbreakable bond The veterans talked about the bond between soldiers on the front line, what it’s like to be in battle, the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how the condition affects not just the individual but those around them too. Sam revealed that not only did the meeting “massively” influence his portrayal of Capt Stanhope, it led to the film being altered to show the impact Capt Stanhope’s mental deterioration has on those around him. “One of the veterans talked to me about how it affected him at home. In public he was one person but at home he was someone else. In the film, you see Stanhope in front of his men being the put-together captain, very organised and very on top of things. Then you see him at ‘home’ in the dug-out with [the officers] and

you see him take it out on them, the people who mean the most to him.” Sam hopes the film will lead to an increased understanding of veterans’ mental health and encourage more veterans to talk openly about their condition. “I feel like the second you start talking about it you start realising that many people are affected by the same disorder and you’re not alone. “I hope people look at this film and think it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to be who you are, not what you want or need to be.” ‘Journey’s End’ is out now in cinemas nationwide and Combat Stress is the film’s charity partner.

Behind the scenes To find out more about ‘Journey’s End’ and the story behind it, visit

Asa Butterfield (centre) plays the naïve new recruit Lieutenant Raleigh

The veterans helped the film’s cast find out what it’s like to be on the front line. Pictured here is Tom Sturridge in his role as Hibbert who suffers from shell shock 13

Partner: The Poppy Factory

WORKING TOGETHER Jolandi du Preez, Lead Occupational Therapist at Combat Stress

Combat Stress works closely with The Poppy Factory – the country’s leading employment charity for veterans with health conditions or disabilities


olandi du Preez, Lead Occupational Therapist at Combat Stress, and Elisabeth Skeet, Head of Employability Services at The Poppy Factory, explain how the two charities work together to help veterans. Why is the partnership important? Jolandi: A mental health condition can make it tough to find or hold down a job. Our occupational therapists help veterans to start living again, and for some, part of this is to find meaningful work. The Poppy Factory has great expertise in this area and provides veterans with help and advice to get back into employment with supportive local employers. When did Combat Stress and The Poppy Factory start working together? Jolandi: Our organisations have both been in existence for almost 100 years and there’s been a link between us for a long time. However, since the introduction of our community occupational therapists in 2015, the relationship has gone from strength to strength. In fact, referrals to The Poppy Factory have increased by 200% during this time. How does a veteran get help from The Poppy Factory? Elisabeth: A veteran can contact us themselves or one of the occupational therapists at Combat Stress might make a referral. The service is open to veterans of all ages, from all Services and with any health condition that might be a barrier to

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Elisabeth Skeet, Head of Employability Services at The Poppy Factory

employment, including mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or PTSD. What kind of help is provided? Elisabeth: Following an initial phone call, a veteran will meet with one of our employability consultants to create an individual career plan. Sometimes the Combat Stress occupational therapist will

Our goal is to find competitive paid employment for each veteran who comes to us”

come along to this meeting too. A veteran will also receive CV advice, interview coaching, assistance with job searching, information about training and funding sources, motivational support and benefits guidance to help them overcome any health conditions and get back into a fulfilling job. It’s a very personal service. Our goal is to find competitive paid employment for each veteran who comes to us for help. When a veteran gets a job, is there any more support? Elisabeth: Yes. Veterans and their employer are offered support for 12 months after a job starts, to help overcome any obstacles that may arise. If a veteran needs further support from Combat Stress, we’ll liaise (with consent) to refer them back to the charity. To find out more, visit

How we help: Groups

THE POWER OF GROUPS Find out more about our community groups

Andy Walton, Community Psychiatric Nurse at Combat Stress The groups help veterans to share their experiences


ver the past year, we’ve introduced community-based education and information groups for former servicemen and women. Hosted by our community psychiatric nurses (CPNs) in locations across the country, these groups provide veterans with a chance to learn more about the issues they are facing and what they can do to help themselves. “I’ve seen first-hand the benefits of a group where veterans share their struggles and ideas to help. Hearing from others in the same situation as you can really make an impact,” says Andy Walton, CPN for Combat Stress. Our community groups cover six different topics: anxiety, mood, anger, sleep, substance misuse and trauma. Each topic is covered in an hour and the usual format is for two topics to be covered in one session, held once a month for three months. “A little bit of knowledge can go a long way – these groups help veterans understand

I was quickly put at ease by the other veterans who could relate to what I was going through” what’s happening to them,” adds Andy. Veterans suitable for groups are invited to attend after meeting with a Combat Stress clinician. Attendance may take place before, after or during other treatment provided by Combat Stress, or in combination with support provided by other organisations. Army veteran John attended a group in Newcastle in spring 2017, before undertaking our PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme in September 2017. “It was

like my first day at school,” he says, “sitting at the back of class, saying nothing and trusting no one. “I had problems justifying that I was worthy of help as, unlike veterans who have lost limbs, I have no visible injuries. However, I was quickly put at ease by the other veterans, who could relate to what I was going through. “It was good to hear personal experiences. The others in the group were all going through the same kind of things as me – you can read all the magazines and leaflets you like, but speaking to others really helped me. “These groups bring veterans together and reassure you that you are not alone.”

More info Help support services like our community groups. To make a donation by telephone please call 01372 587 151 15

Supporter story: Marathon effort


Rich and his dad Paul joking around

Rich Murphy is running his first marathon to show his gratitude to Combat Stress for the help his dad has received


ich Murphy is so grateful to Combat Stress for the help and treatment it’s given his dad, Paul, 56, that he’s taking part in the London Marathon to raise money and awareness. “I want to go the extra mile for Combat Stress,” says the 28-year-old. “I’m raising money, but also giving something back to all the men and women who sacrifi ced so much to give our generation a better future.” Rich’s father joined the Parachute Regiment when he was young and left in his mid-forties. “After he left the Army he had problems with his mental health,” says Rich. “It was only a year ago that he discovered the help available from Combat Stress. “I cannot thank the charity enough. It’s not only changed his life, it’s changed mine as well. I fi nally have the relationship with my dad I always wanted as a youngster. We’re more like mates now; we go on walks together, have play fi ghts and joke around.”

angry with him, and not really understand why he reacted the way he did. “But when you know someone has the symptoms of PTSD, you’re a lot more understanding. If sharing my story encourages other people to seek help or contact Combat Stress for advice, then I’ll be thrilled. “Dad’s my hero, and running the marathon will be a huge challenge. The longest distance I’ve run is a half-marathon, so I’m a little nervous about running 26.2 miles, but I’ve already started training.”

Understanding PTSD Rich remembers being a teenager and living with his dad. “We’d argue and I’d be

Proud dad “Words cannot describe how proud I am of Rich for even just attempting to run the London

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Ambitious target Dad Paul has run the London Marathon three times. Rich says he wants to beat his dad’s time – and raise lots of money for Combat Stress. “While my target is £1,900, I’m hoping to raise a lot more than that, by doing bits of extra fundraising, from a sponsored leg wax to persuading my girlfriend to make cakes to sell at work.”

Marathon,” says Paul. “I was due to run the London Marathon for a fourth time in 2003 but I was serving in Iraq, so instead of a fourth marathon medal I got an Iraq war medal. “Even as an ex-Para, I can honestly say the London Marathon is no easy event. The physical effort is difficult enough, but you also have to find the mental strength required to keep going when your brain is telling you to stop – especially when you reach the 20-mile mark known as The Wall. I remember every muscle in my body saying stop but you’ve got to find the mental strength to keep going.” Rich adds: “For anyone considering taking up a challenge for Combat Stress, remember why you are doing it, who you’re doing it for and how it’s going to help those in need. That will really push you to get out of bed and pull on your trainers.”

Sponsor Rich To support Rich and help raise funds for Combat Stress, visit:

Supporter story: Marathon effort

Rich in November 2017 when, as well as training for the London Marathon, he was also taking part in Movember!

I finally have the relationship with my dad I always wanted as a youngster� 17

Partner: Fidelity International

PUTTING THE FUN INTO FUNDRAISING Corporate partner Fidelity’s innovative approach to raising funds


t Combat Stress, we are lucky enough to have support from a wide range of different companies. Support from our corporate partners comes in all shapes and sizes, and includes everything from cake sales and car rallies to cycle challenges and clay pigeon shoots! One of our generous corporate supporters is Fidelity International. Employees at this Surreybased company chose to support Combat Stress as their Charity of the Year in 2017. Our partnership has been renewed for 2018 and they have lots of exciting fundraising events planned for the year ahead. Valuable work “We originally chose Combat Stress for our Charity of the Year as we wanted to support a local charity with a cause we are passionate about. One of our employees had received support from Combat Stress so we know how valuable the charity’s work is,” says Sue White, charity lead at Fidelity. “Once we started to get to know the corporate partnership team at Combat Stress, we realised there was so much more we could do. Jointly we came up with some fun ideas for how we could work together and to date we’ve raised over £26,000.”

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Events last year included a softball tournament involving 18 teams in a knockout competition and an assault course featuring a huge inflatable that was erected in the office grounds. Teams competed to finish the course in the fastest time. In 2018, Fidelity will continue to support us by hosting its first ever charity golf day as well as organising a dragon boat racing family day. A team from Fidelity will also take part in the Monte Carlo or Bust car rally. Using an old ‘banger’ the team will travel from the UK to Monte Carlo via key Second World War locations. “Sue has continued to come up with new and innovative ways to support the charity and we’ve really seen how employees have got behind the partnership because it’s been so much fun,” said Garry Burns, corporate partnership manager.

Above Fidelity employees taking part in a human table football game and cheering on colleagues at a softball tournament

Find out more Could you team up with Combat Stress? Our corporate partnership team can work with you to create tailored fundraising initiatives to engage your employees in fun and creative ways. To find out more about corporate partnerships, please contact Garry Burns on or call 01372 587 158.

How we help: A day in the life

A DAY IN THE LIFE Clinical psychologist Reinhart Burger on teamwork, therapy sessions and finding the time to unwind


riginally from Cape Town, South Africa, Reinhart Burger joined Combat Stress in November 2015 and now works as a clinical psychologist at our treatment centre in Surrey. 08.30 Arriving at work, the first thing I do is make a coffee and check my emails. The psychological therapies team works closely with other specialist colleagues at Combat Stress, such as occupational therapists and mental health nurses. I really like this collaborative aspect of the job. 09.00 We have a handover meeting with the team who’ve been working overnight. It’s a chance to discuss which veterans staying at the treatment centre may need extra support. 09.30 I meet with a veteran for an individual therapy session. I generally have two veterans under my care if they are attending the six-week PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme. During the six weeks, each veteran will have 15 individual therapy sessions with me, lasting between 50 to 90 minutes at a time. Traumatic events can have a lasting impact on a person’s mental health. In the sessions, a veteran will learn techniques to manage overwhelming feelings and gradually begin to approach trauma memories in order to process them properly.

11.00 I meet with a veteran for an assessment to get a good understanding of their particular difficulties, as PTSD can look very different between people. The assessment can then be used to decide on the best treatment programme. 13.00 I always try and stop for a quick halfhour lunch break. We’re very lucky to have an onsite canteen which serves really good home-cooked food. 13.30 I might have another individual therapy session after lunch. I find it really rewarding seeing those who are struggling with life start their journey of recovery. If I’m not in a therapy session, I’ll use the time for tasks such as making referrals or writing to GPs to update them on their patient.

I find it really rewarding seeing those who are struggling with life start their recovery”

15.00 Mid-afternoon is when I run a group therapy session for those on the PTSD programme. It’s a chance for veterans to get a better understanding of the things they are going through and learn how to deal with their symptoms. 16.30 I finish work and travel home. In my free time, I enjoy getting on my bike – I live near Richmond Park which is great for cycling. At the weekend, I like to explore London and the surrounding area and I often take photos.

Photography is one of Reinhart’s hobbies; he took these shots of Pen Ponds and the fallow deer in Richmond Park 19

Get involved


SUDOKU PRIZE DRAW We have three goody bags to give away in our prize draw

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Enter the prize draw in two easy steps: 1. Complete the Sudoku puzzle 2. Send the completed form to: Combat Stress Magazine, Combat Stress, Tyrwhitt House, Oaklawn Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 0BX

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By ticking this box I confirm that I would like all donations to Combat Stress, past, present and future to be treated as Gift Aid donations. I am a UK Tax Payer and understand that if I pay less Income tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year that it is my responsibility to pay any difference. Please notify us if you want to cancel this declaration, change your name or home address or no longer pay sufficient income and/or capital gains.

Return address: Freepost RTKB-SYUY-CZYR, Combat Stress, Tyrwhitt House, Oaklawn Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 0BX. Or call 01372 587 151 to make your donation.

20 24-hour Helpline: 0800 138 1619

Telephone:................................................................................... Email: .......................................................................................... ..................................................................................................... We will use this information to let you know if you have won. If you would like to know more from Combat Stress please tick here Terms and conditions: The prize draw is free to enter. Not open to employees of Combat Stress. Competition closing date is Monday 30 April 2018. The winners will be drawn after this date and notified.

How we help: Benefactors

SUPPORTING OUR FUTURE Generous support from our Benefactors helps us to look ahead and plan for the future


aking a long-term commitment to support our work is one way to help us continue to transform lives. David Dutton has chosen to support us in this way and here he explains why. “My partner is ex-military and it was due to her that my charitable giving became military focused. I’ve always been extremely proud of the British Services and the work they do. When I heard about Combat Stress, I wanted to support the charity as a way of giving something back to those who have helped us by simply doing their job and have developed problems as a result. “When Mave and I visited the Tyrwhitt House treatment centre in 2017, I was astonished to learn not only that the charity had been in existence for almost 100 years but also the extent of what it did. I was beyond impressed by the work of the employees and the fabulous results achieved.” David became one of our Benefactors after his visit. “I could see the money was being well spent and I wanted to help ensure that those who need help as a result of their service are able to receive it.” Our Benefactor programme is a very personal way to support Combat Stress as Nicola Wearing, Major Gifts Manager, explains: “You can help change lives by championing a specifi c project or by making multi-year pledges to support our work. This is extremely valuable to us as it enables us to plan for the future.”

David and his partner Mave at his Indianthemed 75th birthday celebrations. Instead of birthday gifts, David asked his party guests to make a donation to Combat Stress

Thank you How to become a Benefactor To find out more, please contact Nicola Wearing, Major Gifts Manager, on 01372 587 155 or You can also read more about the Combat Stress Benefactor Programme on our website:

We would like to thank our Benefactors for their generous support. Our Benefactor programme launched in 2015 and we now have 28 Benefactors. New Benefactors to the Programme include*:

Silver Benefactors • The Anthony Scholefield Foundation • The Hinduja Foundation (UK) Benefactors • Mrs Blizard • One anonymous Benefactor *Current as of January 2018 21

Last word

Photo: Bill Osment

NEIL OLIVER The ‘Coast’ presenter and Combat Stress Ambassador for Scotland talks archaeology, stone circles and Winston Churchill


eil Oliver is a Scottish archaeologist, historian, writer and broadcaster, who presents the BBC TV series ‘A History of Scotland’ and ‘Coast’.

I became an archaeologist after a visit to Glasgow University. I’d done well enough at school to get a place there and was going to study history, but while on a visit I discovered the archaeology department. I’ve always been fascinated by early history, especially the first people living after the Ice Age more than 10,000 years ago. I’m not a practical person. I’m not good with my hands so I couldn’t be a plumber or an electrician but I’ve always loved writing and using my imagination. I trained as a journalist and still write a column for The Sunday Times in Scotland.

became ‘Two Men in a Trench’ where we excavated famous battlefields around the UK. I‘ve been presenting TV programmes ever since. My wife makes me laugh, as does my good friend Professor Pollard – we’ve a shared sense of humour. The camera and sound men I work with also make me laugh and the funniest comedian has to be Billy Connolly.

Neil Oliver with Combat Stress Chief Executive Sue Freeth

The best advice I’ve ever received was probably from my Dad. He’d say, ‘you never know who you are standing next to in the pub’.

My favourite dig is the Ness of Brodgar excavation in Orkney. I’ve been involved for the past six or seven years. It’s the most awe-inspiring place I’ve seen in my lifetime – it‘s a Neolithic settlement, where everyday life was mixed with ritual and science.

Coming home to my wife and children brings me great joy. My work takes me away from my family for at least six months of the year so I really appreciate the time I can spend with them.

Winston Churchill is an enduring hero. He was a man of his time, with some views that seem outdated to us. But when his country and people needed him, he was there and ready to do what had to be done to win the war.

I got into TV by chance really. I’d kept in touch with Professor Tony Pollard from Glasgow University, who I met when we were students at university and we’d come up with archaeology projects that interested us. When we were excavating the battlefields in South Africa from the Anglo-Zulu war in 2000, a TV producer, Pat Llewellyn, got in touch and suggested we made a programme. This

22 24-hour Helpline: 0800 138 1619

Neil regards Winston Churchill as a hero

I became an Ambassador for Combat Stress because my work and the research projects I‘ve been involved in have made me aware of the psychological impact war can have. I really admire the armed forces and I’ll use my profile to raise awareness of why the charity is needed and the invaluable work it does.

My work has made me aware of the impact war can have”



Partner proďŹ les


unds to support our work come from a huge variety of different sources and some organisations choose to support a particular group of veterans. Recently, we have received generous donations for our treatment of former members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines from Trinity House and The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. Trinity House is a charity dedicated to safeguarding shipping and seafarers, providing education, support and welfare to the seafaring community. The charity has been supporting us since 1986 and during the last year donated ÂŁ62,000. The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity is a military charity that supports sailors, marines and their families for life. Since 2007, the charity has funded projects and facilities that boost morale for those who serve today. This year we have received a grant of ÂŁ40,000 from this organisation. Currently we support more than 250 former sailors and marines and these grants will help us to continue to provide our life-changing treatment and support to these former servicemen and women. 23

NIGHTRIDER LONDON 9–10 JUNE 2018 See the sights of London in a different light. Join #TeamCombatStress for this year’s Nightrider and pedal your way around the capital at night to help us support more veterans. We also have spaces available for Nightrider Glasgow (19-20 May) and Nightrider Liverpool (14-15 July). For more information visit: or contact our Challenge Events team on 01372 587 140 or

Combat Stress, Company Registered in England & Wales No 256353. Charity Registration No 206002 (SC038828 in Scotland). 17JH069

Combat Stress Spring Magazine 2018  
Combat Stress Spring Magazine 2018