When it comes to fundraising, local veteran, Anthony Day, from Northampton, isn’t coy! In a recent online event, Anthony raised more than £1,700 for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, by raffling a specialist Japanese Koi Carp called a Gin Rin Ochiba.
The fish was donated by Ricky Stoddart of Koi Wholesale, who wanted to support Anthony’s fundraising efforts after hearing about his plight as a veteran. Last year Anthony, who served with the 9th and 12th Royal Lancers, from 1996 to 2008, and completed tours of Bosnia and Iraq, started to suffer with PTSD and Severe Anxiety Disorder.
“I nominated SSAFA as the charity I wanted support because it has recently helped some of my friends who were seriously injured in Afghanistan, and another friend who suffered potential life-ending illness. What we raised was way, way, more than I expected.”
Anthony sold more than 300 tickets for the raffle. Fish-fanciers from as far afield as the USA sent additional donations to support the charity after hearing Anthony speak of his experiences.
Anthony has recently secured a position as Head of Koi and Ponds Department at Perfect Aquatics in Bedfordshire and is setting up a British Koi Keeper’s Society Section for Veterans, particularly focussing on how fish-keeping can benefit veterans struggling with mental ill health.
Anthony (YouTube handle: Krafty Koi) has also become a panellist for ‘Koi Talk Live’ on YouTube. The panel also includes veteran of 3 Parachute Regiment and Pathfinder, Lee Hadfield, (aka The Koi Soldier). Lee received injuries whilst serving in Afghanistan before being discharged. He intends to raffle a high-quality Koi in Newark, hosted by the Yorkshire Section of the British Koi Keeping Society, on the 27th and 28th August, with proceeds donated to SSAFA.
Sarah Harris, SSAFA East Midlands Regional Fundraising Officer said:
“With an event as unusual as raffling a Japanese Koi Carp, Anthony raised an incredible £1,728. This will enable us to continue to support our Armed Forces family in the East Midlands.”