They ﬁght our wars. We ﬁght their battles.
NEWS WWW.COMBATSTRESS.ORG.UK | NEWSLETTER OF THE EX-SERVICES MENTAL WELFARE SOCIETY | AUTUMN 2011
HELP WHERE IT’S NEEDED Community Outreach ﬁnds innovative new ways to bring Veterans back to health
MARK BISSET THE SPICY PIPER: A much-loved ﬁxture at our Battle Proms concerts, and a stalwart Combat Stress supporter
THANK YOU WE SALUTE YOUR FUNDRAISING EFFORTS
ART OF WAR
Registered Charity Number: 206002. Charity Number Scotland: SC 038828. Company limited by guarantee: Registration Number 256353
How Art Therapy is helping our Veterans
24-HOUR HELPLINE IS SUCCESS
with Chief Executive Andrew Cameron
Making headway It’s now 18 months since HRH The Prince of Wales launched The Enemy Within Appeal. Our aims were ambitious: to transform our mental health services for Veterans; raise awareness of the plight of Veterans with wounded minds; and encourage Veterans and their families to seek help sooner than they ever have before. In this time we’ve made great improvements in the reach and quality of the services we offer, and in raising awareness of the needs of our Veterans. We have 12 of the 14 Outreach Teams in place and our Treatment Centres are being upgraded, with more clinicians, better staff training and new treatment programmes. See page 6 to learn more. One of the objectives of the Appeal has always been to reduce the time it takes for Veterans to seek help, and to reduce the stigma surrounding their mental health. The longer Veterans delay contacting us, the more complex their conditions become. Self-reliant, resourceful, brave men and women, who develop a mental illness or disorder, fear being seen as failures. Confusion and anxiety often leads to dissociation, isolation and self medication. It is arresting this deterioration that we’re working to address, through education, encouragement and awareness-raising, so that more will seek help sooner. We’re being supported in this work by Comic Relief – and by donations from supporters like you. In the Spring 2012 Newsletter, I hope to be able to report on further real progress. Despite the difﬁcult ﬁnancial climate, we’ve been able to steadily improve our services. This is due to the generosity of our supporters: individual donors, companies, trusts, military charities and government departments, all of which take a keen interest in our work. Thank you all for your unfailing support. We seek to raise £10 million every year to maintain our services, and support an annual 12 per cent increase in the number of Veterans who need our help. I pray that you will continue to support us as we help improve the lives of our former sailors, soldiers, and airmen with mental wounds.
2 COMBAT STRESS NEWS | AUTUMN 2011
Showing our support The annual Armed Forces Day is growing every year, and so is the involvement of Combat Stress…
very year, Armed Forces Day seems to get bigger and more important. It’s an increasingly vital exercise aimed at raising public awareness of those who serve – and have served – in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, while at the same time giving the public an opportunity to show their support for all the men and women involved, from currently serving troops to Veterans, from cadets to Service families. The 2011 event was held on 26 June, and once again, Combat Stress was heavily involved. Jim Lawrence (RWO Scotland East) and Clive Fairweather, who represented us at the main event held in Edinburgh, reported that it was very busy,
generating plenty of interest. We thank them for their sterling work. We also give thanks to everyone involved with the following events on the day, which raised both awareness and funds at home and abroad: all who helped at the British Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; helpers at Reading, Ripon, Buckinghamshire and Bedford; volunteers Hussein Al-Alak and Neil Blower and Regional Welfare Officer Steve Griffiths, who ran a well attended stand in Manchester; and, finally, Alison Dhatt, Head of Clinical Services at our Audley Court Treatment Centre, who attended both the Stafford and Staffordshire events. Thank you all!
IN THEIR WORDS
“Having PTSD is like walking alone through a pitch black maze. What Combat Stress do is give you a map and a torch.” Neil Blower, Veteran of Kosovo “You are a service that doesn’t require a person to explain how they are feeling, (you) give reassurance that people are not alone with their feelings and that the feelings are normal for what I’ve got.” Ex RAF Veteran
Cover image: Mark Bisset AKA The Spicy Piper has played at all of the Battle Proms over the summer raising money for Combat Stress. Please see page 5 for more information.
The opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Combat Stress.
Raising funds through recycling In Autumn 2010 we introduced a recycling scheme to turn electronic waste, such as mobile phones and printer ink cartridges, into funds. So far we’ve raised £2,536. To make a donation, we can arrange collection boxes for your workplace or send freepost envelopes.
12% Percentage Copyright: Mike Eddowes
Contact Nikki Catling on 01372 587151 or email nikki.catling@ combatstress.org.uk
Royal blessing Combat Stress received £20,000 from the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund. In addition, our supporters raised £68,630 through donations directly to us and organised fundraising events on the back of the Royal Wedding. The grand total raised was £88,630. In return,Veterans designed hand-made thank you cards for the Royal couple. See page 10 for more on Veterans art.
KEEP UP TO DATE
Visit our pages on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for charity updates and details of fellow supporters, as well as how you can support us: www.facebook.com/combatstress www.twitter.com/combatstress www.youtube.com/ combatstresscharity
Bully for you!
211 Number of
Serious new play from comedy star Sandi Toksvig
ully Boy, the well-received new play by radio and television broadcaster Sandi Toksvig, celebrated its opening night by successfully raising both money and awareness for Combat Stress. Sandi’s heart-felt, well-researched drama about PTSD opened in May at The Nuffield Theatre in Southampton, with a special fundraising Q&A session with Sandi, Falklands Veteran and Appeal Board member Simon Blagden MBE, and our Chief Executive, Andrew Cameron. Bully Boy tackles the challenging moral issues of contemporary military occupation, and its effect on the mental health of serving soldiers; many different people, it seems to be saying, are victims of war. The audience certainly found it a powerful and moving experience.
837 Number of Veterans who attended 100 support groups run by our new team of Community Psychiatric Nurses
Fast cars and fast-filling buckets at the motor-fest
Copyright Lucy Hares
increase in new referrals seen by Combat Stress since last year
Afghanistan Veterans that Combat Stress is currently supporting
Collection success at Cholmondeley
Calls to our 24hour Helpline, set up in March 2011
Combat Stress was proud to be chosen as one of the three military charities to benefit from the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, held in July. Bucket collectors from Catterick, The Bishop Heber school, BAE Telford and local cadet groups successfully collected around £15,000 over the weekend, to be split between the three charities.
Amount currently raised towards the three-year The Enemy Within Appeal
AUTUMN 2011 | COMBAT STRESS news 3
Thank you O
nce again we are astounded, cheered and extremely grateful for the immense talent, bravery and courage shown by people who choose to support Combat Stress. Your efforts are truly inspiring, and we would like to express our gratitude by showing off some of the huge range of activities – from cocktail parties to feats of extraordinary endurance – that have been undertaken by you on our behalf.
On their way Pete Beatty: France to Gibraltar – on foot! Pete is no stranger to extreme adventures and this latest challenge will see him take on a twomonth, 35-mile a day trek, covering 1,600 miles. On 20 September Pete will start his long journey from the Channel to the Strait of Gibraltar and hopes to raise an impressive £30,000. We wish him the very best. Support him at: www.virginmoneygiving. com/PeteBeatty Lee Clark: 1,800-mile solo UK cycle tour Lee Clark has been in the RAF for nearly 25 years and is taking part in a year of fundraising for Combat Stress. He has already completed the London Marathon and this latest venture is an unsupported cycle ride around the UK, visiting all the RAF Search & Rescue units. Lee is heading off on 26 September and hopes to complete his challenge in three weeks. Support him at: www.virginmoneygiving. com/leeclark
Harriet Benson, John Moodie and Jamie Forteath collecti ng a cheque for £30,972 from the Nor thumberland Golf Clu b
Cocktails and golf
Eight Up Appeal
The Northumberland Golf Club held an evening cocktail party followed by a hugely successful Golf Day at High Gosforth Park, Newcastleupon-Tyne in June. The Pipes and Drums of 101 Regiment Royal Artillery performed, and 20 soldiers talked to guests about their experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our thanks go to the Club, to Jamie Forteath (Club Secretary), the event sponsors and everyone involved. An exceptional £30,792 was raised.
Colin De La Rue was granted sabbatical leave from his law firm Ince & Co and challenged himself to climb eight mountains, including Mount Kilimanjaro and Mera Peak in Nepal, to raise money for eight charities. Colin then gave a lecture about his trip at the Royal Geographical Society and raised £2,252.
MAMILs Welsh Cycle Challenge 2011
On 29 April a group of ‘Middle Aged Men In Lycra’ (the MAMILs) cycled up a huge number of hills on our behalf, from Aberystwyth on the Welsh coast to Lyonshall in Herefordshire. Paddy Bourdillon, Ed Bulmer, Ed Butler, Aubrey Green, Michael Guy, Gio Hilditch, John Nesbit and David Rees together managed to raise an exceptional £11,150. British London 10k
Over 90 runners gave up their Sunday morning to pound the streets of London to raise funds for Combat Stress. We held a welcoming postrace picnic in St James Park and had over 70 guests. To date we have received £13,818. Thank you, everyone!
4 COMBAT STRESS NEWS | AUTUMN 2011
Colin De La Rue on one of his eight summits
Hollybush Fete Over 300 people attended the annual Hollybush fundraising fete in June, raising £3,211. Thank you to all volunteers, staff, and friends and families of Hollybush House who helped to make the day such a success. Boturich Castle fundraising lunch
Two hundred people from across Scotland gathered at Boturich Castle, Loch Lomond, on 1 May for a five star lunch, which raised £29,190 through ticket sales, an auction and charitable donations. It was organised by Donald Hardie; well done to him. Epic Paris to Edinburgh cycle
Brothers Andrew and Douglas Ross cycled from Edinburgh to Paris, completing over 750 miles in just eight days and raising over £3,000. Andrew said: “Combat Stress is a worthwhile cause and we would like to thank everyone who supported and sponsored us.” Ramster Hall clay pigeon shoot
Malcolm and Rosie Glaister hosted their splendid annual charity shoot at Ramster Hall in Surrey for the second year running. There were 22 teams of four guns competing, followed by a champagne reception, lunch and auction. The event has so far raised £12,000.
Mark and Charlie Bouch canoed from Devon to London
Fundraising run again. Alan defied his prognosis and returned to Afghanistan in 2011 to run the marathon again, raising a triumphant £3,471.
You’ve been fantastic!
Ian Thompson Memorial Football Match
Combat Stress would like to give a special word of thanks to the following for their support:
Organised by Alastair Thompson, the match kicked off on 10 July at Fettes College, Edinburgh. They raised an amazing £17,000, with double that pledged still to come. Virgin London Marathon 2011 Devizes to Westminster by canoe
Three teams each braved the world’s longest non-stop canoe event, the 125-mile Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race, on Easter weekend. Well done to Kirk Mainprize, Jason Jones, Simon Greensmith, Nick Marsh, Charlie Warner and Mark and Charlie Bouch, who raised over £11,000 between them. Mad March Hare 5k run
John Henderson organised another successful Combat Stress fun run around Glasgow Green, in memory of his son who died while serving with the Royal Highland Fusiliers. The event raised over £1,500. Henley swim
At 6am on 26 June, 485 participants took to the water for the 8th Henley Swim. Jo Marsh swam the 2.1km course for the third time and raised a fantastic £1,400.
Combat Stress had 10 runners taking part this year and everyone finished. We had a welcoming team waiting with goody bags. It was a very successful day, and raised just under £16,000. Congratulations to you all! Half Ironman
Daisy Rogers completed the Half Ironman, a gruelling course on Exmoor in Devon that involves a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and a half-marathon, and to date has raised £1,160. Many thanks for all your hard work, Daisy. Olympia to Olympus
Ed Keith, George Franklin, Harry Jones and Humphrey Atkinson cycled from Kensington Olympia in London to the Temple of Olympus, Greece. The trip took 40 days, cycling approximately 80 miles a day. They have raised over £8,000 so far. To read more, go to olympia-olympus.tumblr.com Engelandvaarder kayak
Monte Carlo or bust
Will Travers, Ed Barber and Tom Stables cycled from London to Monte Carlo. The trip was a tough 850 miles, often in 30 degrees-plus heat, with urban sprawls, dubious signposting and a 1300m climb over the Massif Central to negotiate. To date, they have raised over £21,000, an absolutely terrific achievement.
Alec Greenwell, Ed Cooper and Harry Franks kayaked from the Netherlands to England to commemorate the perilous journeys embarked on by over 1,500 Dutchmen during WWII while escaping to join allied forces. A very special wellwisher, HRH Prince Harry, was able to meet their families as they appeared on the horizon. Les Hart and Richard Powell - Holland to Surrey
Britain’s coastline by motorbike
Mike Woolley circumnavigated the entire coastline of mainland Britain by motorbike, raising funds and awareness for Combat Stress along the entire route, and donating over £3,000. Mike was supported by daughter Alice and her partner Matt Jaquiery and Craig Zocher of Azcari Adventure Centre.
Les and Richard will embark on their cycle challenge on 12 September. Starting in Holland, and via Londerzeel and Dunkirk, they finish at our head office in Surrey. They hope to complete their trip in five days; please show your support at www.justgiving.com/Richard-Powell3.
Afghan Marathon Man
While in Afghanistan in 2008, Alan Jarvis ran a marathon around the Lashkar Gar base. Shockingly, on return from the tour he broke his back, hip and ankle and was told he would never
Great friends Les and Richard all set to cycle
We are grateful to everyone who has given their valuable time and energy to promote and fundraise on our behalf. Your stories and commitment are spectacular and we are sorry we only have room to mention a few.
The ‘Spicy Piper’ Mark Bisset every year pipes at all six Battle Proms concerts and is this issue’s cover star. He has so far raised £5,224 in 2011. On Armed Forces Day, the British Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, raised a substantial £3,164. Ian Lovell and George Foster raised £3,550 in memory of their good friend and Combat Stress supporter John Bacon. Caroline Copland, who held a Royal Wedding Celebration at the RAF Club, raised £2,247. Catherine Ross raised a magniﬁcent £20,000-plus from her charity auction. In July, Catherine was honoured by the US Consulate in recognition for her support of service charities. Ian Poynter, for placing and emptying collection tins in the City, collecting £772 to date. The Festival Players Theatre Company, and organiser Anton Buckoke, for this year’s splendid production of The Taming of the Shrew, raising £742. Major Gerald Davies, curator of the Gurkha Museum, organised a lecture and a book signing by General The Lord Dannatt, raising £1,082. Special thanks to: Isabel Taylor for her auctions and car boot sales; Simon Beet for completing the Paris marathon; and Sheila Hallis for selling our Christmas cards in her shops and donating the proceeds to Combat Stress.
AUTUMN 2011 | COMBAT STRESS NEWS 5
Help where it’s needed Just as the needs of Veterans suffering from mental ill-health are changing, so are the essential services we provide. From help with daily practicalities to specialist therapies, Combat Stress ﬁnds new and innovative ways to support Veterans back to health…
ombat Stress is the UK’s leading military charity specialising in the treatment and care of Veterans’ mental ill-health. We have carried out this duty since 1919, caring for around 100,000 Veterans. The clinical and social needs of Veterans are changing, and so Combat Stress constantly strives to evolve to meet their demands. Over the years our services have
developed greatly, enabling us to treat and support more Veterans in new and innovative ways. We currently provide a wide range of support and treatments, from help organising practical issues such as finance and benefits, to establishing a new six-week Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment Programme. Join us over the next few pages, as we outline the current range of treatments and services…
24-Hour Helpline 0800 138 1619 • Text 07537 404 719 One recent service is this new helpline, providing conﬁdential help and advice on mental health issues to the military community and their families. Since being set up in March 2011, the Helpline has received over 1,500 calls across the UK from Serving Personnel, Veterans and family members.
The Helpline is vital to the mental wellbeing of the Forces community, and to keeping us safe.”
6 COMBAT STRESS NEWS | AUTUMN 2011
Ken, a Veteran who has used the Combat Stress Helpline this year
Supporting Veterans Clinical assessment and diagnosis to develop a bespoke treatment plan The ﬁrst step for many Veterans is to have a clinical assessment. We provide these at our three treatment centres, and, for those who can be supported in the community, our
Community Outreach Teams assess Veterans too. “Being at Combat Stress and getting the diagnosis of PTSD makes you realise that you are not a coward,
a freak or a weak person,” says Dave, an RAF Veteran. “PTSD is a normal reaction to a series of totally unexpected events that you are simply not equipped to deal with.”
Support in the community Combat Stress’s nationwide network of recently-established multidisciplinary Community Outreach Teams enable Veterans and their families to receive treatment and support in their own area. The Teams offer clinical assessments, trauma focused therapies and group sessions, as well as home visits and family
and carer support. They also offer welfare support, such as help with the practical issues that result from psychological injuries, including housing, ﬁnance, beneﬁts and pending war pension cases. Often working closely with GPs, local NHS services, social services and other Veterans mental health charities to help integrate care pathways, the
Six-week PTSD Treatment Programme This new programme, starting in September 2011, aims to provide enhanced treatment and rehabilitation for Veterans with complicated presentations of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Combat Stress has been commissioned specially by the NHS in England to provide this mental health service. Turn the page for an in-depth look at the new programme…
Teams promote recovery and enhance social inclusion. In England, as a result of the NHS Armed Forces Network, our Community Outreach Teams are increasingly being supported by specialist community mental health nurses, who can raise awareness of the needs of Veterans within the Primary Care system.
Short-stay Treatment Programmes These bespoke programmes are delivered at our three specialist Treatment Centres, which are in Ayrshire, Shropshire and Surrey. At these centres we can provide a tailored treatment and care programme based on each Veteran’s psychological, social and welfare needs. Our bespoke treatment plans adopt a holistic, multidisciplinary approach made up of a portfolio of evidence-based programmes and a wide-range of therapeutic interventions, both clinical and psycho-social, delivered by our skilled staff. Our clinical services range from brief therapy to chronic disease management, in keeping with NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) best practice.
Well-being and Rehabilitation Programme This programme is available to all Veterans receiving treatment in our residential facilities, as part of a structured occupational therapy model. This service is still developing, but will include employment mentoring, life skills workshops and social activities in the community.
AUTUMN 2011 | COMBAT STRESS NEWS 7
Six Week Veterans’ PTSD Programme Introducing Combat Stress’s intensive new programme for chronic PTSD sufferers
eterans suffering from some of the most complicated presentations of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will be able to beneﬁt from a brand new specialist residential programme geared to steering them back to good health. The inaugural six-week Veterans’ Programme will begin in September, and aims to provide enhanced treatment and rehabilitation for 224 Veterans with PTSD each year. Launched at Combat Stress’s Tyrwhitt House Treatment Centre in Leatherhead, Surrey, it’s one of very few specialist services to have been commissioned by the NHS in England. While the ﬁrst group of eight Veterans will attend in September, we mean to have four courses completed by the end of the year. Who’s it for, and what’s involved? The programme will treat male and female Veterans who are suffering from chronic PTSD as a result of multiple exposures to traumatic events, and who have other co-morbid issues, such as depression or alcohol abuse. Each Veteran will have a clinical assessment and consultation before he or she is invited to join the Programme. They may need to be stabilised using other treatments before admission – for example, be detoxiﬁed from alcohol. The six-week programme will provide expert intervention and traumafocussed treatment in a safe and controlled environment. The three main interventions comprise: group psychoeducation; group skills training and cognitive restructuring; and individual
8 COMBAT STRESS NEWS | AUTUMN 2011
trauma-focussed psychotherapy, including Trauma-Focussed Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. Patients stay at Tyrwhitt House for the whole six weeks, with a single weekend break in the middle. Depending on outcome, follow-up will be delivered through our Outreach and Outpatient Services, NHS services and residential treatment services. Combat Stress is also developing a Wellbeing Programme to run alongside this initiative, offering Veterans structured occupational therapy activities, and social and training activities outside working hours. This will also help them do extra ‘homework tasks’ set by the new programme. Evidence of success While this is the ﬁrst programme
of its kind in the UK, it is based on programmes run by the Australian Veterans’ Mental Health Services, giving an evidence base over ten years relating to some 4,000 Veterans with similar clinical presentations. The evidence from the Australian programmes suggests that one third of Veterans who complete the programme will do well and need little support after the programme; one third will do well but need more help; and one third will not do so well, but still need considerably less help than they did before joining the programme. The new Six-Week Veterans PTSD Programme is designed to complement the many and varied existing treatments and therapies that Combat Stress already provides, and will not replace any of the current residential treatments. For more info: www.combatstress.org.uk/ pages/six-week_veterans_programme
Veteran 1 experiences Combat Stress deals with the mental health issues suffered by exService personnel in a huge number of ways. The following extracts detail the real-life experiences of two of our Veterans…
Peter [not his real name] is a Scottish Veteran, ﬁrst seen by Combat Stress in 2009. At the time Peter was living alone in a council ﬂat and not sleeping at all well; when he did, he had vivid nightmares recalling things he’d experienced in Bosnia and Iraq. He felt tired constantly. Peter complained of anger problems too – he wanted to lash out at things and people. Isolated and mostly housebound, he did his shopping online and kept himself to himself. He said that when he went for a walk he felt very tense and found himself breathing rapidly. Since coming to Combat Stress, Peter has been to our Hollybush House Treatment Centre three times, and is regularly visited by the East of Scotland Outreach Team, who support him with his anxiety, depression and social isolation. He’s now much happier, in a steady relationship and taking antidepressant medication. We’ve also supported him with a war pension claim. Peter can now travel on public transport and enjoys a full night’s sleep; he has decorated his ﬂat, is now socially involved within the local community and has many friends locally. Even better, Peter has recently been offered employment at a local nursing home.
Dave served in the RAF for 12 years as a senior aircraftsman. In 1988 Dave was stationed on the border of East Germany in a tactical rapid reaction force – if an aircraft crashed, he’d be ﬁrst on the scene. “I experienced three horrendous crashes in a 14-day period,” he says. “In one incident, an aircraft came down in a farmer’s ﬁeld. The pilot didn’t eject. Afterwards, I remember thinking ‘this is not what I signed up for’. It’s only in the quiet of your room that you start to think that what you’ve just done isn’t normal.” Dave left the Force in 1994 and quickly landed a job in Swindon, but by 1996 things had really started to fall apart – he was getting two hours’ sleep a night, drinking heavily, having ﬂashbacks, and feeling severely paranoid. After getting into a ﬁght, his employers told him to get help. A counsellor put him in touch with Combat Stress. “My ﬁrst assessment was a life-changing experience,” he says. “You know that you’re not alone. Being at Combat Stress and getting the diagnosis of PTSD makes you realise that you are not a freak, coward or weak person. PTSD is a normal reaction to a series of totally unexpected events that you are simply not equipped to deal with.”
AUTUMN 2011 | COMBAT STRESS NEWS 9
Increasingly, Combat Stress has found art a vital tool for both Veteran therapy and self-expression. It’s fascinating for others to see too, giving the viewer a unique insight into the psychological consequences of military trauma
e currently use art in two complementary but very different ways. First there are our Activity Centres, which are open to Veterans who want to paint, sculpt or make things; then there’s Art Therapy – a form of psychotherapy where a clinically trained Art Therapist works with Veterans to explore their thoughts and feelings using image-making.
Our Activity Centres There are Activity Centres at all three of our short-stay Treatment Centres – Audley Court in Shropshire, Hollybush House in Ayrshire and Tyrwhitt House in Surrey – and though each works in different ways (Activity Centre at Tyrwhitt House is open all night, for instance) art has become important at each of them. Activity Centre manager Kay Siggery explains:“When they first come to the Activity Centre, many Veterans don’t think that art is for them – they are tough men, and a lot of them won’t have picked up a brush since school. But as they
progress through their therapy and treatment, almost all of them come to appreciate the chance that the Activity Centre gives them to unwind and forget about their troubles; quite often, of course, they also succeed in creating some amazing pieces of work.” In June 2011 Tyrwhitt House hosted an exhibition of Veterans’ art and photography, alongside an associated competition, where the six judges’ favourites were exhibited at the Mall Gallery in Central London. One judge was Jules George; see page 11 for more.
Art Therapy One of the great things about Art Therapy is that Veterans don’t need any great experience or skill to participate; the overall aim is to effect change and growth on a personal level, with the actual work a pleasing by-product. Art Therapy is about self-expression, and exploring feelings as part of clinical treatment: more about the process than anything else. Jan Lobban, a Combat Stress Art Therapist, says:“This form of
10 COMBAT STRESS news | autumn 2011
Main image: Alex Coker’s ‘Happy Times Under the Arches’ Above: Veterans’ work is judged and exhibited
therapy is very flexible; it can be used as part of individual therapy, or in a group format. Typically an Art Therapy group session lasts a couple of hours. We start with a short introduction, then I might suggest a theme to explore – a recent one, for example, was ‘The Invisible Wound’. The Veterans then move into the creative space to explore what this theme means to them. After that, the group comes together to discuss individual interpretations – this can help to increase Veterans’ self-awareness, and improve their communication.” Jan finds it can help Veterans to express issues that are difficult to put into words.“It’s particularly useful when they’re struggling with poorly understood or conflicting feelings,” she says,“and it can be a very raw, emotional experience.” Want to know more? Combat Stress is soon to be on TV! We’ve been working with the BBC’s Culture Show arts programme, and in November it will broadcast an hour-long special about the role of art in supporting Veterans with mental illhealth. Look out for it on BBC2, around Armistice Day.
Campaign update APPEAL INSPIRES FUNDRAISING SUCCESS
The Enemy Within Appeal Our ambitious campaign to support the escalating number of psychologically injured Veterans is making healthy progress
he Enemy Within Appeal, our biggest ever fundraising campaign, has made fantastic progress since its launch 18 months ago. It’s already banked more than half its £30m target amount, and promoted the charity as a leader in the mental health care of Veterans. The three-year Appeal was launched in March 2010 by HRH The Prince of Wales, and is led by Dr Chai Patel CBE and a dynamic and multi-skilled team of board members.The three main objectives: to transform mental health services for Veterans; to raise awareness of the plight of Veterans suffering from psychological injury; and encourage Veterans and families to seek help sooner. Thanks to the immense interest received from Government, media, partners and supporters, the campaign has raised £19.5m. It has also established 12 of the proposed 14 Community Outreach Teams, helped to WWW.COMBATSTRESS.ORG.UK
increase the numbers of Veterans seeking support, and facilitated Combat Stress entering into strategic partnership with other health and social service providers. In a letter to Combat Stress, Head of the Armed Forces General Sir David Richards said:“I was delighted to read about what the Appeal has raised; this is an exceptional amount, which is testament to your hard work and that of your team, as well as your many fundraisers.” Looking ahead
There is still much to do. Future objectives include addressing the stigma that surrounds mental health in the military community; raising awareness of Combat Stress services; simplifying the pathway to care for Veterans; and further reducing the time Veterans take to seek help after leaving the Services. But, with your help, we’ll get there.
Celebrations and ﬁne speeches in Scotland Peter de Vink, an Edinburgh-based businessman, recently hosted a luncheon at The New Club in honour of the former Republic of Ireland Taoiseach Albert Reynolds. Scotland’s First Minister, The Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP, made an engaging address. This was the latest fundraising initiative organised by Peter, securing over £20,000. Summer vening at Highgrove Tony and Amanda Raybone organised A Summer Evening at Highgrove in support of The Enemy Within Appeal. At the private home of HRH The Prince of Wales, guests were treated to guided tours of the magniﬁcent gardens, followed by drinks, canapés and entertainment. Amanda and Tony generously paid for this event, as they had with two other fundraising events in 2007 and 2009, where tickets were complimentary and guests were invited to make a donation. These three events have raised over £15,000 and more than 2,000 individuals have been introduced to Combat Stress. War artist and Bonhams support In February 2010, artist Jules George joined 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, as an ofﬁcially sanctioned war artist. The resulting 150 paintings and drawings were exhibited at a private view hosted by Bonhams Chairman, Robert Brooks, and Combat Stress President, General Sir Reddy Watt, in July. The striking paintings caught the eye of many collectors. Both Jules George and Bonhams have pledged 25 per cent of the proceeds of the sales to Combat Stress. Help from Newman’s Own Earlier this year, Combat Stress received £50,892 from the Newman’s Own Foundation, which distributes all net royalties and proﬁts from the Newman’s Own food company, famous for its salad dressing, to a wide range of charities.
AUTUMN 2011 | COMBAT STRESS NEWS 11
How can I help? There are many ways you can help support Combat Stress, from text donations to remembering us in your Will…
Your gift to a Veteran Please turn to page 15 for a cut-out-and-send donation form
o continue offering vital care for ex-Service men and women suffering from mental ill-health, Combat Stress needs to raise £10m voluntary income each year. As awareness about our services grows, an increasing number of Veterans are approaching us for help. Last year we received over 1,400 new referrals. We have a current caseload of more than 4,600 individuals, including 211 Afghanistan and 533 Iraq Veterans. We are truly grateful to our growing number of supporters, but we always need more people to get involved, now more than ever. As well as the fundraising activities that happen on our behalf, we value each and every one of your donations. Small impromptu amounts are just as valuable to our mission as the grand gestures; every penny really does count. We have tried to make it as easy as
possible for you to help us by offering a wide range of ways you can donate, via Legacies, Direct Debit, Payroll Giving, Gift Aid Declaration, Bank Transfer, Post and Phone. Visit www.combatstress.org.uk and click on the Fundraising pages.
Regular Giving Giving regularly can be the easiest way of all to donate – for you and us. Setting up automatic donations straight from your payroll or via Direct Debit means that you don’t have to keep remembering to donate, and Combat Stress benefits from being able to plan ahead as we have a reliable source of income. Regular donations reduce our administration costs so that we can spend more of your donation on providing vital services to Veterans.
Payroll Giving Payroll Giving is a simple tax-effective scheme that allows you to regularly donate to Combat Stress directly from your gross salary. This method also costs you less to give us more; a £10 donation to us will only cost you £8 or, if you are a higher rate tax payer, it will cost you only £6. See our website 12 COMBAT STRESS NEWS | AUTUMN 2011
for more details: www.combatstress. org.uk (click ‘Donate Now’ selecting the ‘Payroll Giving’ option).
Direct Debit Direct Debit is a flexible method allowing you to donate as frequently as you like directly out of your bank account. The majority of Combat Stress’s supporters give on a regular monthly basis. For more information about Direct Debits or Payroll Giving please contact Cathy Long on 01372 587152 or visit our website at www.combatstress.org.uk and click on the ‘Donate Now’ button.
Donating by Text If you would prefer to make an impromptu donation, what could be easier than sending a text? Donating via text message on your mobile phone is as easy as saying ‘hi’ to a friend. In the body of the text just write PTSD00 followed by the amount you wish to donate and send to 70070. Job done! Your text donation will either be deducted from your mobile phone credit or added to your mobile phone bill, depending on the service you use, and you won’t pay any VAT on your donation. WWW.COMBATSTRESS.ORG.UK
Leaving a legacy Please consider adding us to your Will: it’s the best way to ensure that your gift to Combat Stress will continue to help rebuild the lives of ex-Service men and women in the future The Combat Stress memorial garden at Tyrwhitt House
Great reads The authors of these books have kindly agreed to support Combat Stress by donating a percentage of profits from sales. Courage Under Fire – Tim Lynch This is an inspirational and deeply moving collection of stories detailing the incredible courage of our Armed Forces. It features contributions from Veterans of recent conflicts (including Iraq and Afghanistan), archive material from earlier conflicts, and reflections from war correspondents and civilians. This hardback is available to buy at our website: www.combatstress.org.uk (click fundraising tab, then ‘books’) or through the Christmas Card leaflet enclosed with this issue.
90 Years of NAAFI Serving the Services The NAAFI provides catering, retail and leisure services to the Armed Forces and their families wherever they are deployed overseas. This is NAAFI’s commemorative anniversary book and charts the history of the organisation. Combat Stress is one of two military charities benefiting from sales, and has already received £10,000. Please visit www.naafi.co.uk for more information.
“I am confident that, through my Will, I will continue to support one of my favourite charities and I won’t even notice the money leaving my account.”
Colonel John Mayo, one of our supporters and a former Trustee
eaving a gift in your Will is a great way to ensure that your generosity continues beyond your own lifetime, and is an easy and costeffective way to support our work. Your legacy gift will help Combat Stress to continue to rebuild the lives of exService men and women in the future.
Tax-free giving Giving to charity under your Will has the advantage of being tax free, so that no part of your estate passing to charity after your death will be subject to inheritance tax, otherwise charged at 40 per cent. Giving to charity under your Will can also make your wealth go further on your death by www.combatstress.org.uk
potentially reducing the overall rate of inheritance tax charged on your estate. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, announced in the March 2011 budget that those leaving 10 per cent or more to charity in their Will will be eligible for a reduction in the rate of inheritance tax, taking it down from 40 per cent to 36 per cent. Few things are a genuine win-win situation, you might think, but this actually is. For further information, please call us on 01372 587144 or email: email@example.com For more info, go to www.combatstress. org.uk and click on ‘Fundraising’
Shell Shock: The Diary of Tommy Atkins – Neil Blower This short, diary-style first novel by a Neil (a Combat Stress Veteran) chronicles the difficulties faced by Tommy, a 23-year-old squaddie, as he desperately tries to conquer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), once widely known as shell-shock. The book is being officially launched on 1 October at The Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, and will be available from all good bookshops, including Waterstones, WH Smith and amazon.co.uk
The Stress of Combat, The Combat of Stress – Major Roy Brook Written by former Combat Stress Welfare Officer Roy Brook, this book explores the issue of Veterans’ mental health, and, through a wealth of anecdotes and fascinating case studies, brings the issue to life for the reader. Originally written in 1999, this is a revised edition with a new chapter and updated contact information. Meet the author at a booksigning at Waterstones in Poole on Saturday, 5 November at 11am.
AUTUMN 2011 | COMBAT STRESS news 13
Things I’ve learned
For Anna Reeve, a Combat Stress Mental Health Practitioner working in the west of Scotland, peer support is a crucial factor in successful treatment…
ne of the most vital components of our Outreach Teams is the Mental Health Practitioner, a varied role that demands a schedule of sessions held at assorted clinics, as well as regular home visits. Anna Reeve fulfils this position for Outreach Scotland Team-West, generally working out of Territorial Army units, a Royal Air Auxiliary Force Squadron and a local Multi-Agency Centre. “On a typical day,” she says, “I may run a client support group which lasts for two hours, incorporating peer support and some psycho-educational input, then see individual clients for one-to-one sessions, which may involve using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).” Though not ex-military herself, Anna has many personal links to the forces, including an ex-Army husband and a number of family members currently serving; she first got involved with Combat Stress when referring a patient into the Treatment Centre. Here are five elements that Anna has learned are crucial to successful treatment…
14 COMBAT STRESS news | AUTUMN 2011
1. Client resilience can be incredible. I’m so impressed by this, but what people don’t always understand is that ‘natural’ resilience can be supplemented. Through attending the treatment centre, or having input from the Outreach Team, clients can engage in psycho-educational programmes that introduce various coping skills. After some of the things our clients have been through during, and even after, their military service, I love the fact they can continue to move forward.
2. Peer support is crucial. Peer support is usually vital to our clients; to be able to talk with, and get support from, someone who had similar experience can be of great therapeutic value. The theory behind the psycho-educational component of the group is that the more knowledge a Veteran has of their illness, the better they can live with their condition.
3. Keeping up close links with the Services is hugely helpful. On leaving the Forces, some clients may lose contact with their old comrades, not seeing each other for years, even decades.
But however long it’s been, they’ll always remember those they went through basic training and served with. I was present recently when two Veterans who’d last seen each other as 16-year-olds in the training depot met again. After a brief catch up on recent events they quickly settled into ‘gentle ribbing’ of each other, and with gusto shared stories of their service.
4. It’s hard to adjust to civilian life. Many of our clients joined the military straight from school, and then – having perhaps served a full 22 years’ service – have difficulty adjusting to becoming a ‘civvy’ on their own. Military service was not just a job but a way of life; they’re used to living and working alongside each other, and I’ve had clients say that they struggle without this daily support network.
5. There can’t be enough charities looking after Veterans’ needs. I’m thrilled to see just how many charities and support agencies there are today that have made looking after Veterans a priority. Many only exist thanks to the efforts of volunteers, for which I’m always thankful.
CALENDAR Get involved for combat stress… SEPTEMBER Triple Crown Challenge 12-22 September Two rival teams of eight from Oxford and Cambridge University Officers Training Corps will compete in the ultimate 1,000mile cycle challenge – London to Edinburgh to Cardiff and all the way back – raising funds for the ABF and Combat Stress. Please donate to either team and add to their competitive drive. www.varsitytriplecrown challenge.com Clay Shoot Friday, 16 September A repeat of the very successful event held at The Royal Berkshire Shooting School in the past three years, 2010 being a sell out. Teams of four cost £1,200. Individuals welcome at £350. To join in, or just for lunch, contact Charlotte French. OCTOBER Great North Ride talk Saturday, 8 October Ewen Cameron, a former cavalry and yeomanry officer, will speak about his and Major Neil Cross’s remarkable Great North Ride from London to Edinburgh on a total of 160 horses in aid of Combat Stress and the Light Dragoons Colonel’s Appeal. The lecture will be held at Digby Memorial Hall, Sherborne. Tickets are £12.50, to include a glass of wine. Contact Diana Bucknall on 01258 860 726. Royal Parks Half Marathon Sunday, 9 October This year’s Half Marathon in St James’s Park and Hyde Park, London, will include 40 runners for Combat Stress. Come along to cheer our participants on. You’ll find us near the finishing line providing a warm welcome. Contact Zoe Morris on 01372 587147 or email Zoe.morris@combatstress. org.uk
Celebrating Christmas Wednesday, 7 December Enjoy a traditional evening of Christmas carols with the Royal Hospital Choir at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Tickets cost £18 for the service or £40 for the service and reception, which takes place immediately afterwards in the magnificent Great Hall at the Royal Hospital. The box office opens in October and last year we sold out in three weeks, so please book early to avoid disappointment. For further information, contact Charlotte French or book online at www.combatstress. org.uk
NOVEMBER Annual Armistice Day Lecture Wednesday, 9 November Major General Julian Thompson, who was commanding 3 Commando Brigade when they carried out the initial landings to retake the Falklands, is guest speaker at the Royal United Services Institute. Tickets, £25, include a sandwich lunch. Book early. Contact Katie Everett or book online at www.combatstress.org.uk FEBRUARY 2012 Orchestra Charity Evening Friday, 10 February Charity concert with The London Chamber Orchestra (LCO), at Cadogan Hall, London. Come along to hear Walton’s Crown Imperial, Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and Sibelius’s Symphony No 5. The conductor is Christopher Warren-Green and violinist is Caroline Goulding. The event is sponsored by Martin and Roni Lovegrove. For more information contact Charlotte French. Tickets available at the LCO box office: www.cadoganhall.com, or call 020 7730 4500.
MARCH 2012 Appeal Gala Dinner Thursday, 22 March The Enemy Within Appeal Gala Dinner at The Imperial War Museum will have a 1940s military feel to it. Diners will be surrounded by tanks, aeroplanes and mini submarines, and musical acts will entertain the guests, as will the Live and Silent Auctions. Contact Charlotte French for early bird discounts.
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 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
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)
Signature: Cardholder’s name (if different from above) c To save the charity money, please tick here if you don’t want to receive an acknowledgement. ANL11
For more details on any of the above events, please contact:
If you are a UK tax payer (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. Last year through Gift Aid we raised an extra £260,000 to help our Veterans.
Charlotte French: 01372 587144, charlotte.french@ combatstress.org.uk
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.
Katie Everett: 01372 587148, katie.everett@ combatstress.org.uk
Simply tick the box below.
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 form 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 funds with Gold challenge There’s something for everyone… We have places for the Olympic Gold Challenge so give it a go and raise funds to help support our Treatment Centres and Community Outreach teams. It’s simple! Try out five or more Olympic or Paralympic sports and raise money for us. You can enter either as an individual or as a team and have fun learning a new sport, reviving an old activity, or improving a current interest. You can choose from 30 sports and select your level (beginner, intermediate or advanced) and decide how far you want to challenge yourself. The courses are available nationwide – just look online for a centre near you. This is a great opportunity to get professional training and attempt some different sports at a level that suits you. It’s all about having a good time, being healthy, and getting involved. Please sign up at: www.goldchallenge.org
We remain sincerely grateful to all our supporters, including the following:
16 COMBAT STRESS news | autumn 2011