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Royal Marine veteran swaps front line for finishing line to run London Marathon

A former Royal Marine Commando from Surrey will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon in aid of Combat Stress, the UK’s leading veterans’ mental health charity.

On 23 April, Steve Mansfield will run 26.2 miles in the Virgin Money London Marathon, one of the three fundraising events he is taking part in to raise money for Combat Stress. Steve completed his first fundraising event for the charity, the Royal Parks Half Marathon last October, finishing in under one and a half hours. In July he will take part in the final event, the UK IRONMAN, a long distance triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycle and a 26.2 mile run.

Steve said;

“After serving in the Royal Marine’s for six years, I’ve seen first-hand the affect this can have on people’s lives. PSTD is very much a hidden mental illness and this can be overlooked, hence why I chose to raise awareness for Combat Stress through these three challenges.

“I completed the Royal Parks Half Marathon in under one and a half hours and am hopeful I can complete the London Marathon in three hours. I am aiming to raise £1,500 for Combat Stress, the charity is a brilliant organisation and they deserve every penny I can raise.”

Robert Marsh, Director Fundraising at Combat Stress said;

“On behalf of everyone at Combat Stress I would like to wish Steve the best of luck for both of his incredible challenges.

“Without amazing fundraisers like Steve, we wouldn’t be able to provide free support and treatment to veterans with mental health problems. We continue to see an increase in demand for our mental health services for veterans, it’s vital that we raise awareness and funds for the charity to ensure we can continue to support veterans that need our help.”

Combat Stress is proud to be part of the Heads Together campaign, as a member of CONTACT, the military mental health coalition. Heads Together, which brings together eight leading mental health charities and three Founding Partners, to try and change the conversation on mental health, is the Charity of the Year for this year’s London Marathon.

To sponsor Steve in his challenge please visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Stephen-mansfield3

ENDS

For more information please contact Holly Ayres, PR Officer, on 01372 587165 or Holly.Ayres@combatstress.org.uk

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: combatstress.org.uk
On Twitter: @CombatStress
On Facebook: facebook.com/CombatStress
On LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/combat-stress

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

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