Combat Stress announced as chosen charity for 2019 Army v Navy rugby match

The annual match is the largest amateur sporting event in the UK and regularly draws a capacity crowd of 81,000 to the home of English rugby. Combat Stress will be collecting money around the stadium on the day and the charity will receive £1 from every programme that is sold and £1 from every reusable cup that is returned to specific charity bins around the stadium.

Sue Freeth, Chief Executive of Combat Stress, said:

“It’s a great honour to be the chosen charity of the Army v Navy 2019 match. With more than 80,000 people expected to attend, it will be a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of veterans’ mental health and the importance of seeking help.

“Next year marks Combat Stress’ centenary. From our 100 years’ experience of supporting former servicemen and women with mental health issues, we know how vital it is they receive the best possible treatment. Every penny raised for Combat Stress at the match will enable us to continue providing life-changing treatment to veterans in need of help.

“We look forward to seeing everyone at Twickenham Stadium and wish the Army and Royal Navy teams the very best of luck.”

Gary Bushell Chairman of the Army Navy Match Committee said:

“We are delighted to welcome Combat Stress as the chosen charity of the day for the 2019 Army Navy Match.  Combat Stress are the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health.  They provide life-changing treatment, care and support to help veterans tackle the past and take on the future.  The Committee, along with both Unions, were unanimous in their support for Combat Stress to be the charity of the day for the 102nd Army Navy fixture, we wish them well and we hope they enjoy being part of the event.”

Andy, an Army veteran who was helped by Combat Stress said:

“It’s great that the Army v Navy match is fundraising for Combat Stress. It’s one of the biggest days of the year for both Forces and I hope everyone gets behind the charity to raise lots of money for them.

“Before I contacted Combat Stress, I was struggling with anxiety, depression, anger and guilt. It was frightening not knowing what was happening to me. Combat Stress helped me to understand I had post-traumatic stress disorder and gave me the tools to manage my symptoms. Now thanks to them I’ve got my life back.”

For more information or to request an interview please contact:

Jonathan Paxton, PR and Communications Officer, on 01372 587061


Notes to editors:

About Combat Stress

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health.

For almost a century, we’ve helped former servicemen and women deal with trauma-related mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Each year we see an average of 2,000 referrals. Demand for our services continues to grow – in the last ten years we’ve a 97% increase in referrals.

On average it takes 13 years after leaving the military for veterans to contact Combat Stress for help, by which time their condition is often highly complex. However, veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts are coming to Combat Stress much sooner (three and four years respectively).

To help veterans rebuild their lives, we provide a range of free services:

  • Short-stay clinical treatment at our treatment centres
  • A specialist Intensive Treatment Programme – delivered at our treatment centres
  • Community Teams – providing treatment and practical support to veterans. Last year our regional community teams undertook almost 5,400 face-to-face appointments
  • Outpatients – assessment by psychiatrists and psychologists – at our treatment centres and in the community – enables us to diagnose, define and deliver the treatment veterans require
  • Occupational therapy – delivered at our treatment centres and in the community, we use meaningful and creative activity to encourage hope, wellbeing and recovery
  • Peer Support Service – Led by veterans for veterans, it’s the first UK-wide service of its kind for those with mental health problems. The service enables them to share their experiences, receive support and socialise with others with similar experiences.
  • Substance Misuse Case Management Service – helping veterans to access the services for their drug and alcohol problems so their mental health issues can be addressed
  • We have a 24-hour Helpline available to veterans and their families (0800 138 1619) and to serving personnel and their families (0800 323 4444)

Useful links

Our website:

On Twitter: @CombatStress

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On LinkedIn:

Our Executive Members

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Afghanistan support

In light of recent events in Afghanistan, please find information and support resources here