Paralympian Joe Townsend visits veterans’ mental health charity

Paralympian and former Royal Marine, Joe Townsend visited veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress last week at their Surrey based treatment centre to hand over the funds he raised for the charity.

Joe got involved with Combat Stress last year after taking part in the #22PushupChallenge, a viral social media campaign that aimed to raise awareness and support for veterans’ mental health. Putting his own spin on the challenge Joe completed an alternative type of push-up, called planche push-ups and encouraged supporters to donate by adding an extra push-up for every donation. On the final day of the challenge Joe completed over 100 push-ups, a personal best.

During his visit last week, Joe presented over £800 to Fundraising Manager, Garry Burns, taking his fundraising total to over £2,000. Joe also met employees and veterans at the treatment centre to learn more about the work the charity does to support ex-servicemen and women with mental health problems.

Sue Freeth, Chief Executive of Combat Stress said;

“We’re so grateful to Joe for visiting Combat Stress and taking the time out of his busy schedule to support the #22PushupChallenge in such spectacular fashion.

“We continue to see an increase in demand for our services, in the past five years we have received almost 10,000 referrals, an increase of 71%. It is vital that we raise awareness and funds for the charity to ensure we can continue to help every veteran that comes to us for support. That’s why support from individuals like Joe is so important to us.”

To make a £5 donation to Combat Stress please text PTSD8 to 70004. (Texts costs £5 plus your network charge. Combat Stress receives 100% of your donation. Please obtain bill payers permission. Customer Care: 01372 587153. Charity no. 206002)


For more information please contact Holly Ayres, PR Officer, on 01372 587165 or

Notes to editors:

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans. Founded in 1919, our work is as vital today as it was after the First World War. More than 6,000 veterans across the UK are registered with us. Demand for our services is rising – between 2010/11 and 2015/16 we had almost 10,000 referrals, an increase of 71%.

On average it takes 12 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 Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are coming to Combat Stress much sooner, within four and two years respectively.

We treat conditions including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety. To help veterans rebuild their lives, we provide a range of free services:

  • Short-stay clinical treatment at one of our treatment centres in Ayrshire, Shropshire and Surrey
  • A specialist PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme – run at our three treatment centres
  • Outpatients – assessment by psychiatrists and psychologists enables us to diagnose, define and deliver the treatment veterans require
  • Occupational therapy – using meaningful and creative activity to encourage hope, wellbeing and recovery
  • Community Teams – a UK-wide network of Community Teams providing treatment and practical support to veterans
  • Reserve Forces Liaison Team – working directly with reservists and military staff, raising awareness of mental health issues in the Reserve Forces
  • 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
  • A 24-hour Helpline for veterans, serving personnel and families (0800 138 1619)

Useful links

Our website:
On Twitter: @CombatStress
On Facebook:
On LinkedIn:

Combat Stress, Registered Charity 206002; Registered Charity in Scotland SCO38828; Company Ltd by guarantee: 256353.

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By @Cobseo 54 years ago

Afghanistan support

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