Former soldier gets fit to take part in nine fundraising challenges in aid of veterans’ mental health

Having lost six stone, a former soldier from Derbyshire will now be taking on nine fundraising challenges in 12 months to raise money for Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health.

When Paul Thompson left the Army in 2009, he stopped exercising and began drinking heavily. Six years later and weighing 19 stone, he set himself the challenge of taking part in his first duathlon in 2015 to motivate himself to get fit again.

Paul said: “I realised that something needed to change, so I stopped drinking and started training. I lost six stone in 2015 and set myself the challenge of taking part in a duathlon – it really helped me to have a goal to focus on.”

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Great British Bake Off winner Sophie Faldo becomes ambassador for Combat Stress

After baking her way to victory in last year’s Channel 4 Great British Bake Off, winner Sophie Faldo from Surrey is now helping to raise awareness of veterans’ mental health by becoming an ambassador for Combat Stress.

In December last year she visited Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health, at their treatment centre in Leatherhead, Surrey, to find out how the charity supports former servicemen and women.

Sophie is a former Army officer and served with the Royal Artillery in Afghanistan.

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Fundraiser follows in the footsteps of his prisoner of war Grandfather to raise money for Combat Stress

A fundraiser from Stoke-on-Trent will be following in the footsteps of his grandfather, by cycling the 760 mile route the prisoner of war took during the Second World War. On 21 February 2018 Martin Palmer and his father Stephen Palmer will start their journey from Poland to Germany to raise funds for Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health.

“My Grandfather didn’t really speak about World War II, I knew he was a prisoner of war, but it wasn’t until I started researching that I found out what he went through.

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Three military charities come together to relaunch late Army surgeon’s fundraiser for injured veterans

Three military charities are coming together to relaunch the D-Day 44 Challenge, an event first run by Lt Col Mike McErlain, a serving Army surgeon who changed the lives of many injured service personnel for the better.

Mike, his wife Jo and his brother-in-law Giles Barnes set up the run in 2009 but tragically Mike collapsed and died while doing the run himself in 2013. Now with Jo’s blessing the event returns in 2018, the 74th anniversary of the D-Day landings, to continue its important fundraising work, with the three chosen charities being Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, Blind Veterans UK and Combat Stress.

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Combat Stress releases top tips to help former servicemen and women cope with pressure of Christmas

Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health, is sharing its tops tips to help former servicemen and women cope with the Christmas and New Year period.

Christmas is a time for celebration, yet it can be difficult for veterans with mental health problems. Some may feel isolated, lonely or depressed, while others can feel overwhelmed by large gatherings of family and friends, or feel they don’t have time for themselves.

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Combat Stress announces TV presenter Neil Oliver as its ambassador in Scotland

Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health, has today announced Neil Oliver as an ambassador in Scotland.

The television presenter, archaeologist and author, best known for presenting series such as A History of Scotland, Vikings and Coast, will help the charity to raise awareness of its vital work supporting former servicemen and women with issues like trauma, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Neil recently visited Hollybush House, the Combat Stress treatment centre in Ayr, to meet with veterans supported by the charity.

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Fundraiser raises over £2,000 for Combat Stress in memory of her Dad

Fundraiser Peyton Melling was recently named as a finalist for ITV’s Lorraine Inspirational Woman of the Year award for her incredible efforts to raise awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The 23-year-old lost her dad to PTSD after he served in the Army for 25 years. She has since been campaigning tirelessly in his memory, including completing an 82 mile hike for Combat Stress.

“I chose to walk the Great Glen Way because my Dad was a big walker and loved walking in the mountains. I wanted to do something that would be a challenge, so we could earn the money we were raising for Combat Stress.

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Five tips to help you get through Bonfire Night

We understand that Bonfire Night can be a difficult time of year, the specialist clinical team at Combat Stress gives the following advice:

Plan your evening : The first thing to think about is how you want to spend the evening and whether you might like to go out or would prefer to stay home.

Bonfire Night can be a useful opportunity to begin to ‘break the link’ between current triggers and past traumatic experiences, by focusing on what is different about fireworks and your environment.

It may be that being exposed to strong triggers feels too much, if that is the case, think about where you will be on Bonfire Night and prepare using some of the techniques described below.

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The Specialist Works donates £50,000 of advertising space to Combat Stress

Global Brand Performance Media Agency, The Specialist Works, has kindly donated £50,000 worth of advertising space through their Goodwill Rocks initiative to help Combat Stress promote the support they offer to former servicemen and women.

The Goodwill Rocks initiative provides charities with free or low-cost marketing by utilising left over advertising space, enabling them to create efficient fundraising or awareness campaigns in a cost effective way.

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One man and his ferret raise over £1,000

Last month Charlie Hammerton, an RAF veteran and his pet ferret, Bandit made the journey from Nottinghamshire to Oosterbeck in Holland to complete an eight mile walk to raise money for Combat Stress.

Both Charlie and Bandit wore WW2 uniform for the walk from the original drop zones in Oosterbeck to Arnhem Bridge.

“I have been to the area a number of times before, I’ve done parachute jumps, cycled and run, but never walked. Bandit and I walked the length of Hadrian’s Wall together for Motor Neurone disease earlier this year, so I decided to bring him along too.

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