They ﬁght our wars. We ﬁght their battles.
NEWS WWW.COMBATSTRESS.ORG.UK | NEWSLETTER OF THE EX-SERVICES MENTAL WELFARE SOCIETY | SPRING 2011
IN OUR NAME Combat Stress advises awardwinning ﬁlm PLUS
NEW WAYS YOU CAN HELP COMBAT STRESS
PRIME MINISTER VISITS US
24-HOUR SUPPORT LINE LAUNCHED
Registered Charity Number: 206002. Charity Number Scotland: SC 038828. Company limited by guarantee: Registration Number 256353
David Cameron pledges his support
with Chief Executive Andrew Cameron
A Sense of Purpose And Determination Since becoming Chief Executive on 4 January 2011, I have been struck by the enthusiasm and determination at the charity to overcome the stigma around Veterans’ mental health. There is a clear commitment at Combat Stress to reach out to those who need help, working with whoever is most appropriate to ensure that the right support and care are given at the right time, in the right place, by the right people. Of course, we face major challenges, all of which are being addressed. These challenges fall into four categories. The first is the need to address the growing demand for our help, a demand that continues to grow along with our waiting lists. For the most severe cases, the wait for assessment and therapy is unacceptably long. We are addressing this through the roll-out of Outreach Teams in the UK, and we anticipate that all the planned clinical staff will be working by this Summer. As a result of NHS England awarding us National Specialist Commissioning we will be able to up-skill to provide deeper, longer, specialist treatment for patients. The reduction of exclusion and stigma is our second major challenge. We have started to see reduced delays in patients seeking help. By working with the NHS, other service charities, statutory agencies and the media we are seeing a growing understanding of the need to help those with wounded minds to get and seek help. Our third challenge is culture change and new management within the growing charity. Both are vital to deliver success on a much bigger scale. I am confident that this is happening. The fourth challenge is reorganisation for a sustainable future. The work we are doing is putting the charity into a position where we can sell services to the NHS. This is a real development. It has the potential to further diversify our financing to meet future demand. It also allows us to influence and educate NHS staff so that Veterans with mental health challenges are more effectively cared for.
2 COMBAT STRESS news | SPRING 2011
Friends In High Places Pledge Help Prime Minister visits Combat Stress and offers support
he Prime Minister, David Cameron, has reiterated his commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Murrison report, undertaken by MP Dr Andrew Murrison to assess mental health services in the military. Mr Cameron’s reiteration came during a visit to Combat Stress’s Tyrwhitt House short-stay treatment centre in Surrey, where he and Dr Murrison met with Veterans and toured the new wing of the centre. The visit followed the Defence Secretary’s pledge to implement Dr Murrison’s recommendations for
a dedicated 24-hour support line for Veterans, and the introduction of 30 mental health nurses in UK Mental Health Trusts. Dr Chai Patel, Chairman of The Enemy Within Appeal – Combat Stress’s three-year fundraising drive – said he was delighted by the Prime Minister’s commitment to take forward the recommendations of the report. “Combat Stress knows it is vital for Government and military charities to work together to ensure Veterans can access services effectively and engage with the treatment provided,” he said.
The White Stuff Free online forum for serving personnel, Veterans and their families to discuss any mental health concerns anonymously Combat Stress has joined forces with Big White Wall to promote their Home Front service. This online forum offers a space to anonymously discuss any mental health concerns – and is now free to serving personnel, Veterans and their families too. It is moderated by ‘Wall Guides’, who receive training, as well as regular supervision, from The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. For more information, or to use the Big White Wall, visit www.bigwhitewall.com
The Totaliser One year in, The Enemy Within Appeal is a success. Here’s the difference it’s already making...
Royal Approval Combat Stress chosen as a charity for Royal Wedding We are delighted and honoured to have been chosen as one of only 26 charities to benefit from the happy occasion of Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s wedding on Friday 29 April.We are all very proud to be recognised in this way – it underlines the high regard in which we are held. Any funds that we receive will be put to work helping heal the wounded minds of our ex-Service men and women. For full details please visit www.royalweddingcharityfund.org
Minty Calls on Combat Stress On 9 February, the former EastEnders actor Cliff Parisi – better known as Albert Square favourite Rick ‘Minty’ Peterson – visited Tyrwhitt House, our Surrey Treatment Centre and Head Office, where he met the staff and Veterans. “It’s an honour to come here to see where some of the money that we raise for these good causes goes,” Cliff told us. “I’m really impressed with the wonderful work that goes on at Combat Stress.”
4,600 Veterans with wounded minds – more than ever before
Veterans are coming to us earlier. The time from a Veteran’s Service discharge to them making first contact with Combat Stress has come down in the last year, from
Mothers In Arms
Ex-EastEnders actor pays tribute to staff and Veterans
Ex-EastEnders actor Cliff Parisi lends his support
We are currently working with over
When the star of award-winning film In Our Name was researching her role, she asked Combat Stress for help On 10 December, 2010, the award-winning film In Our Name was released in cinemas across the UK. The film’s star – Joanne Froggatt of Downton Abbey fame – and its director, Brian Welsh, contacted Combat Stress for help with their research into the potential mental impact of warfare. The result is an intensely moving piece of drama, which charts the problems faced by a young British soldier and mother, Suzy, as she struggles to return to civilian life. Well done to the cast and crew for providing an extremely sensitive glimpse into psychological injury – and our congratulations go out to Joanne for winning the Most Promising Newcomer award at The Moet British Independent Film Awards as well. In Our Name explores the subject of PTSD from a female perspective. Joanne’s character, Suzy, returns to a hero’s welcome in the UK, after serving in Iraq, and is reunited with her husband and daughter. But it soon becomes clear that all is not well. Haunted by the responsibility that she feels for the death of an Iraqi child, Suzy soon becomes obsessed with the safety of her own daughter, and feels compelled to protect her from a threat that does not seem to exist. Joanne said that her role in the film involved a significant amount of research. The 30-yr-old actress spoke to female members of the Armed Forces, while immersing herself in numerous documentaries and books on the subject of PTSD among Service personnel. She said that her visit to Combat Stress proved a significant help when it came to creating the role of Suzy. “That was probably the most useful research,” Joanne told the BBC News website, “because after having all the facts and figures, it was amazing to sit with people and talk with them to get the human side.”
14.3 13.1 years to
years. That’s great, but we still need to do more.
Community Outreach teams have already been set up and are working right now in their communities.
has already been raised from our new recycling scheme, to turn old mobile phones and printer cartridges into funds.
SPRING 2011 | COMBAT STRESS news 3
Thank You Imagination, courage and generosity of spirit abound among Combat Stress fundraisers Alan Joicey sacriﬁced his long brown locks in a spo nsored haircut, raising £346.80
Team Hallin – 7 February 2011 Where Atlantic Ocean What David Hosking, Jack Stonehouse,
ed the Team Hallin row over Atlantic, raising mbat Stress £30,000 for Co
ver the last six months, some of the most extreme and courageous challenges have been undertaken on behalf of Combat Stress. Volunteers have put themselves forward to row the Atlantic, climb the highest peak in South America and walk solo and unassisted to the South Pole. Of course, there have been plenty of gentler moments too, in the form of concerts and golf days, lectures and dinners, Christmas fairs and birthday celebrations. Here are just a small selection of these amazing endeavours…
Naomi Hoogesteger, Paddy Thomas, Justin Johanneson and Chris Covey together set a new World Record for rowing the Atlantic and raised over £30,000 for Combat Stress. The crew completed the 3,000 mile course from Tenerife to Barbados in 31 days, 23 hours and 31 minutes, shaving more than a day off the existing record. Skipper David Hosking said on arrival: “Everyone has been amazing and our bodies are wrecked! It was stunning team work that saw us set a new world record and was the culmination of two years of planning.” Thank you, Team Hallin.We are in your debt for raising so much money and awareness for the charity. www.justgiving.com/teamtriton Mount Aconcagua Climb Where Argentina What Charles Rickett, Marcus Trevor
and Mark Wood set off in November 2010 to conquer the highest peak in South America, at 22,841 feet. Encountering extremes of climate and terrain, the team spent 16 days on the mountain in total and were just nine hours away from the summit when blizzard conditions descended and they were forced back to base camp. This was a truly courageous and exceptional achievement that raised over £20,000 for Combat Stress. Very well done and many thanks. www.justgiving.com/aconcagua2010 Lions Club Reading – Heroes Dinner Where Reading What A splendid gala dinner held at
the Windsor home of the Household 4 COMBAT STRESS NEWS | SPRING 2011
Cavalry at Cobermere Barracks, with an address given by our president, General Sir Reddy Watt KCB KCVO CBE and musical entertainment provided by the regimental band. The whole event raised £9,000 for Combat Stress. Garrison Church Plate Fund & Falklands Garrison Where Andover/Falklands What Individual thanks to both the
Garrison Plate Fund and the Falklands Garrison for choosing Combat Stress to be the beneficiary of £4,000 and £6,000 donations respectively. RAF Cottesmore & RAF Cranwell Where RAF Cottesmore, Rutland & RAF
Cranwell, Lincolnshire What RAF Cottesmore held various
events in 2010/2011, including a Golf Day (Karen Baggaley raised £1,613) and a Farewell to the Harrier open day (through which Sqdn Ldr Paula Willmot raised £1,911). RAF Cranwell donated a fantastic £4,723 after they held a charity auction. Thank you to both bases for all the hard work, enthusiasm and commitment you have shown. Kilmarnock Amateur Operatic Society Where Kilmarnock What A concert held on the 13th
November raised £5,000 for the charity. Thank you to those involved. Best of Times, Worst of Times Concert Where Christ Church What Virginia McKenna and friends
performed songs and poems about WWI and II and the profits, amounting to £3,300, were very kindly donated to Combat Stress.
Fundraising Charles Rickett, Marcus Trevor and Mark Wood raised over £20,000
Amazing Individuals Further supporters include:
Claire Sohn and her brother, Richard Southgate, walked 60km in 24 hours
Mark Bisset AKA the Spicy Piper, played his bagpipes at many shows and events, including all six Battle Proms concerts, to raise funds and awareness. Well done, Mark – you raised a spectacular £7,300 last year!
Lloyds Lecture Where London What A lecture given by Colonel RJ
Thomson, in the prestigious Lloyds Old Library in early December, organised by Simon Bird, Jonathan Fahie and Adrian Walker. An inspired talk that raised over £5,000 for the charity. Royal Parks Half Marathon 2010 Where Hyde Park, London What This was the first time that
Combat Stress had obtained places in this very popular run. So far, our 25 participants have raised over £11,000. Thank you all, and remember: we have places for the 2011 run too! Gresham School Where Holt, Norfolk What On 13 October the Grenadier
Guards joined the students of Gresham School to take part in an interactive music workshop and a joint concert played to fellow students, parents and VIPs. An extremely welcome £900 was collected. Thank you to Head Teacher Philip John, Colin Scoles and to everyone involved. Joint Services Command and Staff College Where Wolverhampton What On 30 January, six members
of the Joint Services Command and
ards and The Grenadier Gu Gresham the students of 00 School raised £9
Khumi Burton luncheon Inspired by her husband, Major Sidney Burton, Khumi has championed Combat Stress for the last 18 months. In September 2010 she held her second luncheon to raise funds and awareness. Khumi went on to raise a stunning £5,200 for the Veterans.
Staff College took part in the Winter Tough Guy Challenge. This event is a brutal 3-4 hour race covering eight miles of mud and a brutal assault course. All made it through in one piece, raising £2,000. A big thank you to all of you!
Mr Alan Joicey took a brave step and took part in a sponsored haircut. Many people lined up to take their turn in cutting a piece from his long brown hair. A big ‘thank you’ to Alan for putting his locks on the line – and for raising £419.80.
Motorsport Endeavour Where Tyrwhitt House to Beaujolais What The annual Beaujolais run and
Claire Sohn and her brother, Richard Southgate, walked 60km across the Downs in 24 hours during May last year. They also raised an incredible £9,261 in sponsorship.
breakfast at the Carlton Club was organised by Graham Raphael to raise funds for Combat Stress. Motoring enthusiast Graham and several friends, drove to France and then returned for a breakfast and auction at the Carlton Club. They have raised £1,460 to date and brought along some beautiful performance cars to Tyrwhitt House. Surrey Fire and Rescue Services, Leatherhead Where Leatherhead, Surrey What Staff at the Surrey Fire and
Rescue Services in Leatherhead held a 10k run on behalf of Combat Stress. The group raised £500, and they are
Christopher Darwin has organised many Track Days to raise funds for Veterans. Last year he held three events attended by driving enthusiasts and Veterans and raised a very generous £5,105. Thank you for this continued support and for providing an excellent and thrilling day. Laura Nottingham A fashion preview evening and a reception with talk, at the Manx Museum on the Isle of Man. Laura raised an exceptional £6,211 and also obtained local press coverage to help raise awareness.
SPRING 2011 | COMBAT STRESS NEWS 5
Fundraising Amazing Individuals
Authentic costumes: the Essex Regiment get on their bikes
Continued from page 5
Brian Lux 78 not out! At 78 years old this is no mean feat. Brian, you are an inspiration to us all. Brian raised £1,941 for us in 2010, by completing both the London 10k and Royal Parks Half Marathon.
hoping to stage a number of similar events in the future. This was a real team effort and we would like to thank everybody who participated. 10th Battalion the Essex Regiment Where The Somme, France What On 1 July, 1916 one of
the most iconic battles of WWI was launched. On 1st July, 2010 a group of historians launched a cycle ride on lovinglyrestored WWI bicycles, wearing authentic uniforms and carrying all equipment needed to cover the 31 miles of the 1916 British front line. Thank you to all involved. A fabulous £2,705.92 was raised. Dorset Committee Where Dorset What An impressive £12,653.50 has
been raised by the Dorset Committee for Combat Stress. Events included a Bridge Tournament, which concludes in May, and a cookery demonstration, held on 1 March and given by Tessa Bucknall and Fiona Doyle-Dituius. On 17 April, the Committee is organising two sponsored dog walks at the Ranston Estate (by kind permission of James Gibson-Fleming). In the summer, three gardens are opening for Combat Stress, including 25 May in Wincombe (by kind permission of 6 COMBAT STRESS NEWS | SPRING 2011
Ian Jelley & Adrian Hopkins A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who took part in the charity Golf Day, and for donating a surprise £1,000. Thanks also to Ian for the go-karting tickets for the Veterans at Tyrwhitt House – such a kind gesture that was enjoyed by the guys. olais run The annual Beauj 0 to date has raised £1,46
Mr and Mrs John Fortescue) and on the evening of 17 June at Blandford St Mary Manor (by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Jeremy Mains).Tickets will include wine. The Dorset Committee are planning more fundraising for 2012. Forces Foxes Calendar What The glamorous wives and
girlfriends of the Household Cavalry agreed to pose to create this special calendar in elegant black-and-white. They raised over £1,900 through sales. Thanks to Michelle Parry and all the ladies involved. Newfs in Action Where Guildford, Surrey What This group of Surrey dog owners
enjoy training their Newfoundland dogs together. Just before Christmas they got dressed up, hit the streets and collected £500 for Combat Stress, with more money still to come.
A SPECIAL ‘THANK YOU’ TO... Lodges To the members of the individual lodges who chose to support us, including the Provincial Grand Lodge of Surrey who donated a generous £3,175 in February, 2011. Churches To the many churches, congregations and PCCs who supported us on Remembrance Sunday and in the run up to Christmas. Supermarkets To Waitrose stores at Cobham, Worcester Park, Esher and Newport, who together raised £1,755 through their local Community Matters schemes. Birthdays To Marion Goff, who asked for donations to Combat Stress instead of birthday presents; her generous friends made a fantastic contribution. Similarly to: Mr and Mrs Cushing (£4,550); Brenda Brown (£190); Richard Claridge (£680); Alexander Pearson (£550) and Michael Riches (£80). Many happy returns and thank you all for such a series of kind gestures.
How Corporate Funding Helps
Mayors’ Appeals Every year we are honoured to be the recipients of funds as a result of Mayors’ Appeals.
Corporate funders are vital for a large part of our valuable work. Here are the companies that give generously… Charles Russell LLP Thank you to all the staff at Charles Russell for choosing Combat Stress as their Charity of the Year partner for 2010–2011. After lots of festive-themed fundraising, employees are planning a Yorkshire Three Peaks, a Trainee Challenge, and are taking part in the London 10k and the Royal Parks Half Marathon, as well as recycling stamps, ink cartridges and mobile phones for Combat Stress! In the first few months alone, the staff of Charles Russell have raised £10,983.13.
therapists. This new role will help ensure that Combat Stress continues to be the UK’s leading provider of mental health care to Veterans. Combat Stress was delighted to have been voted by three BAE Systems sites – Detica, Telford, and Prestwick – to be their Charity Challenge Partner for 2010-2012. In the first year of our partnership, the three sites have raised a wonderful £28,179.49. Thank you to everyone for all your hard work and support. Here are just a few examples of what the sites have been up to for Combat Stress.
BAE Systems Detica ExxonMobil The head office has chosen Combat Stress as their Charity of the Year partner for 2011. We are looking forward to working together and creating exciting fundraising events over the coming year, including special sales days and a mega Christmas raffle.
The Goldman Sachs Fund The Goldman Sachs Fund has given a fantastic £216,499.35 in support of five specialist mental health nurses at Tyrwhitt House. This will support our specialist traumafocussed therapies that we deliver as part of our multi-disciplinary therapy programme in our short-term Treatment Centres. Goldman Sachs also supports Combat Stress via its Community TeamWorks scheme. Through this, Goldman Sachs employees are assisting with the Veterans’ activity-based rehabilitation and taking Veterans on three excursions this summer.
BAE Systems Have pledged a fantastic corporate gift of £50,000 per annum for three years to help support a new position at Combat Stress: Head of Psychology. This role will improve our clinical and quality capabilities through developing new and existing treatment programmes and co-ordinating clinical psychometric and clinical audit data collection and analysis, as well as providing mentoring support to our psychologists and psychological
BAE Systems Detica have so far tackled the gruelling National Three Peaks, the London 10k and created a beautiful photographic calendar. They have also baked cakes and played pool, all in aid of Combat Stress. Planned for 2011 is a Detica Quiz Night to find the smartest site and a football tournament.
BAE Systems Prestwick Staff at BAE Systems Prestwick have held a Golf Day, a Cycle Challenge and played the Prestwick Lottery. Planned for this year is a 3 day, 230-mile cycle challenge around the Cairngorms National Park. Good luck to those taking part!
BAE Systems Telford BAE Systems Telford have had a weekly bonus ball, quiz nights, and have carried out an impressive Coast to Coast walk. In May, staff are climbing the Welsh Three Peaks. Thank you for everything you have done for Combat Stress.
Network Rail Network Rail have very generously helped to support our Community Outreach Teams by giving £25,000 for the last two years, and, we are pleased to announce, have now pledged to give £25,000 again in 2011. This is a fantastic sum, which will help to fund the Scotland West Community Outreach Team. If your company would like to support Combat Stress, contact Rosey O’Keefe on 01372 587 157 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor of Kirklees Both Huddersfield Town and the Huddersfield Giants are amongst many local organisations helping the Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Andrew Palfreeman, with his charity appeal. The Mayor is backing Combat Stress in his mayoral year and will support Combat Stress in a volunteer capacity, once his term of office ends. The local press has written positive articles about our work and a series of events have already taken place, with more to come. 3 April, 2011: Choir concert in Huddersfield Town Hall with 600 voices representing the National Association of Choirs (Yorkshire Region). 8 April, 2011: Memorial Walk 12hour march around significant war memorials in Kirklees, and ‘boot camp’ activities at sports centre. 14 April, 2011: Sportsman’s Dinner with ‘Dewsbury Hero’ Stevo (Sky Sports) at Gomersal Park Hotel. So far, the Mayor’s Appeal has raised a wonderful
Thank you! For more information visit www.kirkleesmayorscharity.org Mayor of Guildford Our thanks also go to the Mayor of Guildford, Councillor Marsha Moseley, who chose Combat Stress as her charity of the year. Since her term began in April 2010, the Mayor’s office have organised a wide range of events, including a summertime Cricket Festival, a Halloween Hoot, Civic Concert, Remembrance Sunday Service and the Mayor’s Ball. Marsha has also supported Guildford City FC and Wey Valley Short Mat Bowling Club in their fundraising. Thank you Guildford for this splendid support.
SPRING 2011 | COMBAT STRESS news 7
How To Support Combat Stress There are numerous ways that you can support Combat Stress, from phone donations or a gift in your Will, through to recycling your old mobile phone…
n our Autumn 2010 edition, we introduced our new recycling scheme to turn electronic waste – such as old mobile phones and printer cartridges – into valuable funds for Combat Stress. The response has been outstanding, with over £500 now being raised. We would very much like to keep this up, so please put your old mobile phone(s) or empty inkjet cartridges in the envelope provided with this edition and send it to electronic waste management company, Reclaim-it, free of charge. Reclaim-it will then donate the value to Combat Stress. Please visit www.reclaim-it.com/custom/combatstress.htm to order more envelopes or
a collection box for your office.
Will Donations Leaving a gift in your Will to Combat Stress will help us to continue to rebuild the lives of ex-Service men and women in the future, many of whom are still unknown to us at this time.A gift in your Will will cost you nothing during your lifetime and won’t affect you now, but will one day make a huge difference to the Veterans who are, for example, currently serving in Afghanistan. By leaving a gift to us in your Will you will be joining the growing number of generous supporters whose thoughtfulness is essential to the work of Combat Stress. It is a truly extraordinary promise you can make to extraordinary people. If you have any questions, please call us on 01372 587 144 or, alternatively, you can email email@example.com
Regular Giving Making regular donations reduces our administration costs and means we can spend more of your donation
8 COMBAT STRESS NEWS | SPRING 2011
on the vital services we provide to our Veterans. It also means we can plan our work better as we have a reliable source of income.There are two ways to do this. 1.Through your Payroll. Giving via your pay is the most tax-efficient way of donating as it is taken from your wage before tax (this means a £10 donation would only cost you £7.50). Speak to your employer’s payroll department or download a form from our website. 2. By Direct Debit.This is a more flexible way of donating to us.You can donate as frequently as you like (most people give monthly). Please visit our website to find out more and download a form. For more on these methods of donating, please contact Cathy Long on 01372 587 152. Or visit our website (www. combatstress.org.uk) and click on the ‘Donate now’ button on the home page.
Keep up to date Visit our pages on Facebook,Twitter, and YouTube for charity updates, fellow supporters and details of how you can support us. Go to: www.facebook.com/CombatStress www.twitter.com/CombatStress www.youtube.com/ CombatStressCharity
Every Penny Counts Combat Stress is extremely grateful for every donation that we receive. Every penny really does matter, so thank you. Donations can be accepted via Legacies, Direct Debit, Payroll, Gift Aid Declaration, Donation By Bank Transfer and Donation By Post. Alternatively, you can donate by phone by simply calling 01372 587 151. If you have any questions about leaving a gift in your will to Combat Stress, then please phone 01372 587 144. For details on donation via Payroll or Direct Debit, please call 01372 587 152.
Helpline Launched ‘AROUND-THE-CLOCK’ TELEPHONE SUPPORT FOR THE MILITARY COMMUNITY On Friday 11 March, 2011, the Combat Stress 24-hour Helpline was launched. This initiative is being funded by the Department of Health on a one-year pilot and is for the benefit of the whole military community – both serving personnel and Veterans, as well as their families and carers. The number of the Helpline is 0800 138 1619. The Helpline was advertised in the national press. Combat Stress spokespeople also appeared on regional television and radio programmes around the UK to talk about the Helpline and raise awareness of it, and of the work that Combat Stress does. Combat Stress has been appointed by the Department of Health to provide the helpline. We, in turn, have contracted a charity called Rethink to run the helpline. Rethink is a recognised provider of services for people who are affected by severe mental health problems. We chose Rethink after a tendering process – this is both good practice and necessary, as we are spending public (Department of Health) money on the contract. We have given Rethink’s Helpline staff guidance on military matters and terminology, so that their staff will have an understanding of the issues affecting those people who call the Helpline. We will also provide extra support if this is necessary.
SPRING 2011 | COMBAT STRESS news 9
Things I’ve Learned While he’s been at Combat Stress for four years, running the vast Anglia area as Regional Welfare Officer, Stephen Pettitt still feels there’s much to learn…
he first of Combat Stress’s new Community Outreach teams to be established in southern England covers vast swaths of the east of the country, and is headed up by one-time RAF officer Stephen Pettitt, the Regional Welfare Officer for the region. Although mental health is at the centre of the charity’s role, Stephen finds that his day-in, day-out work touches on almost every aspect of his Veterans’ lives. “Mental welfare is by no means all that my Veterans are worried about,” says Stephen. “There’s housing, war pension application forms and all this other stuff – I guess you would call it the ‘welfare’ part of the Welfare Officer role. As often as not, all they really want to do is talk to you.” Of course, this ‘getting to know you’ process is absolutely vital in identifying the underlying issues that are affecting many ex-Service personnel. Here are five things that Stephen has learned during his time on the job…
10 COMBAT STRESS news | spring 2011
1. You can rarely predict a suicide, especially with the younger Veterans.
When your life is in turmoil and you have another 40 years to go, the pressures seem very different to the way they do if you’re 75. The young guys are still macho, still want to provide for their family, but feel incapable of doing it. They just think, “What’s the point?” 2. It’s not treatment many Veterans want, it’s acknowledgment.
Veterans want to know why they’re acting like this. Ideally, they want someone to say, “You’ve got PTSD or anxiety, and it’s attributable to your service”. Then they can start to cope. 3. We need to support the partners as well.
We try to help keep their relationship together. Imagine living with a man who’s angry or sullen, shouting at night, with terrible mood swings. If he has a wife, we say, “Think of her: she can’t be expected to put up with this behaviour”.
4. Housing is almost always an issue.
Many Veterans – even the ones with a wife and two kids – get stuck with hundreds of others at Priority Four on the local housing list, effectively meaning that they’ll never get to move. Then they see some young single mum push her pram right to the top of the list. The Veteran will say, “What has she done? What has she contributed to society?” He’ll say, “Hasn’t she heard of condoms, the morning-after pill?” I get these sort of comments all the time. 5. I’m always completely amazed by the WW2 guys, who just do their best to crack on with it.
They’re so humble and accepting of their lot; it’s hard not to have a soft spot for them. Somehow, they’ve coped with their issues for decades, and now these issues are so well buried by life experience they’re almost impossible to treat. I’ll come in and listen for three hours, but won’t implement any practical mental health therapy. They just want someone to talk to.
CALENDAR Highlights of the next six months… APRIL Royal Wedding Celebrations – RAF Club, Piccadilly Friday, 29 April Champagne reception and 3-course lunch at the Royal Air Force Club. Adult tickets are £90. Tables of 10 made in one booking will be £800. Contact Caroline Copland on 07973 783 180 or email to: rafroyalwedding@live. co.uk Twickenham – St George’s Day Game Saturday, 23 April London Wasps v Bath. 25p from each ticket sold for this game will go to Combat Stress. Tickets are £15 per adult and £8 per child each and are available at: www. stgeorgesdaygame. co.uk. Ticket Hotline: 0844 225 2990. Virgin London Marathon Sunday, 17 April Cheer on the ten Combat Stress runners pounding the streets of London. Contact Zoe Manns. JUNE Beating Retreat Thursday, 9 June The Massed Bands of the Household Division carry out the Ceremony of Beating Retreat at Horse Guards Parade, London. Contact Charlotte French. JULY The Annual Supporter Dinner Tuesday, 5 July The Institute of Directors in Central London is the setting for this event.
Please support: Northern Exposure Squadron Leader Jules Weekes and Wing Commander Matt Stowers have embarked on the first RAF unassisted trek to the North Pole. Please support Jules and Matt in their attempt to ski, walk, swim and paddle their way unsupported across the pack ice, a distance of 416 nautical miles (770 km). They are out there now, so please support their fundraising: www.justgiving.com/northernexposure2011
Great North Ride Ewen Cameron (a former regular cavalry and yeomanry officer) and Major Neil Cross (a serving Army officer) are riding horses from London to Edinburgh in aid of Combat Stress and the Light Dragoons Colonel’s Appeal. For more information please read the leaflet enclosed in this newsletter. To donate, please go to www.greatnorthride.co.uk
Triple Crown Challenge From 12-22 September, teams from Cambridge University and Oxford University Officers Training Corps will undertake a 1,000 mile cycle ride from London to Edinburgh, Cardiff and back. To support them and raise funds for Combat Stress and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, please read the leaflet enclosed with this newsletter, or go to www.varsitytriplecrownchallenge.com Tickets cost £110 or £1,000 for a table of ten. Contact Charlotte French. British 10K London Run Sunday, 10 July Join the Combat Stress Running Team or support our runners. The run starts at Hyde Park Corner and ends near the Cenotaph on Whitehall. Contact Zoe Manns. Battle Proms Concerts July and August £25,000 was raised for
Combat Stress at Battle Proms Concerts in 2010, so why not collect at this year’s events? The dates and locations are 9 July, Burghley House; 16 July, Blenheim Palace; 23 July, Hatfield House; 30 July, Highclere Castle; 13 August, Althorp Park; 20 August, Ragley Hall. Contact Faye Waters. AUGUST The Combat Stress in Scotland Lecture Tuesday, 23 August Brigadier Allan Mallinson will speak at the Annual Lunchtime Lecture. A former cavalry officer,
he is also an author, and known for his novels about Matthew Hervey, a young officer in the Napoleonic Wars. The lecture takes place at Edinburgh Napier University. Tickets are priced £25 and include a sandwich lunch. Contact Charlotte French.
Your Gift to a Veteran Combat Stress is dedicated to helping those who have suffered injury to the mind as a result of their military Service. Through our expanding Community Outreach network, we visit Veterans at home to see how best we can help. Through our three centres, we provide treatment to help Veterans cope with their disabilities and to enjoy a better quality of life. Name Address
Telephone Email c I am happy to receive emails from Combat Stress.
SEPTEMBER Gala Fundraising Dinner Friday, 9 September A Gala Fundraising Dinner to raise money for Combat Stress in Scotland will take place at The Signet Library in Edinburgh. Contact Charlotte French. Clay Shoot Friday, 16 September 2011 Clay Shoot at The Royal Berkshire Shooting School. This is a repeat of the very successful events held in 2008 and 2009 and 2010. Contact Charlotte French.
Contact us! For more details on any of the above events, please call the following numbers Jo Grace: 01372 587 146, jo.grace@ combatstress.org.uk Faye Waters: 01372 587 143, faye.waters@ combatstress.org.uk Zoe Manns: 01372 587 147, zoe.manns@ combatstress.org.uk Charlotte French: 01372 587 144, charlotte.french@ combatstress.org.uk
The opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Combat Stress.
To make a donation over the phone, or to make a monthly direct debit, please call
01372 587 151 I wish to help ex-Service men and women suffering from Combat Stress. Please find enclosed my donation of £ I enclose a cheque/postal order/CAF voucher made payable to Combat Stress. OR please debit my: Credit/Debit/CAF Card (delete as appropriate) Card No: Expiry Date: Security Code: (last 3 digits of the number on the signature strip)
(for Maestro only) Start Date:
Signature: Cardholder’s name (if different from above) c To save money, please tick here if you don’t want to receive a thank-you acknowledgement. SNL11 If you are a UK tax payer (and remember, pensions are taxed too) we can reclaim the tax you have already paid on the money you give to help our work. For every £1 you donate we are able to claim an additional 25 pence from the Inland Revenue. This could mean an extra £50,000 a year to help our Veterans.
Simply tick the box below. c Yes, I am a UK tax payer and wish Combat Stress to reclaim the tax on all donations I have made since 01/04/07 until I notify them otherwise. The Inland Revenue has asked us to remind you that you must pay an amount of income tax and/or capital gains tax at least equal to the tax we reclaim on your donations in the tax year.
You must complete the name and address box above for us to reclaim your tax. Please return this completed coupon to:
The Director of Fundraising, Combat Stress, Tyrwhitt House, Oaklawn Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 0BX Registered Charity Number: 206002 Charity Number Scotland: SC 038828 Company limited by guarantee: Registration Number 256353
WINTER 2010 | COMBAT STRESS news 11
Help us to raise vital funds with Gold challenge Sporting competitors of all levels are being invited to take part in Gold Challenge, a new fundraising initiative being launched with the British Olympic Association
Gold Challenge is a fantastic and fun new sporting challenge in which individual competitors or teams take on five or more Olympic and Paralympic sports and raise money for Combat Stress while doing so. The new initiative is being launched in partnership with the British Olympic Association.
This challenge caters for all levels (beginners, intermediate and experienced) and is available nationwide. With tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Games now on sale, this is a great opportunity for you to have fun, try new sports and feel part of the excitement in the run up to the worldâ€™s largest sporting event.
Not only will you be raising money for us, but Gold Challenge has great incentives and prizes on offer for anyone taking part. To find out all about the Gold Challenge go to www. goldchallenge.org or call Jo Grace on 01372 587 146. To register to take part go to: www.goldchallenge.org/ combatstress or call Jo Grace.
We are grateful to all our supporters, including the following:
12 COMBAT STRESS news | SPRING 2011
NEWSLETTER OF THE EX-SERVICES MENTAL WELFARE SOCIETY Combat Stress advises award-winning film NEW WAYS YOU CAN HELP COMBAT STRESS PRIME MINI...