Armed Forces Charity Community Local News Radio

Friendship, Endurance, and Charity: How Two Friends are Making a Difference for Combat Stress UK

Two local friends have banded together for a charity challenge to raise money for a charity close to their hearts.

Taking on a challenging marathon to support Combat Stress UK, a charity that helps veterans with mental health issues. In an interview with Andover Radio, Pete Burden, discussed his plan to march 20 miles with a full set of loaded 58 pattern webbing, weighing about 45 pounds, and encouraged listeners to donate to Combat Stress UK. They will be undertaking this challenge this weekend.

Pete explained that he and his friend, Marc Fogerty have been training rigorously for the marathon, which involves walking, gym workouts, and personal training. He also expressed his desire to wear the full set of 58 pattern webbing to show solidarity with veterans and to give a sense of the challenges they face. Pete has been put through his paces at Andover Leisure Centre from personal trainer Chris McKeegan.

Pete said “We realised then that we were not the fit and sprightly people that we thought we were mainly because I’m in my late 40s and Marc is in his early 50s. So that galvanised us into doing a bit more training. Been doing a lot more walking and I’ve been going to the gym more. I have personal trainer Chris McKeegan, and he’s been putting me through my paces in the leisure centre.

“But what it’s doing is we’re getting my body ready to actually take this, this punishment and hopefully get through it and still be up right when it finishes.”

Through his efforts, Pete aims to raise awareness of Combat Stress UK and inspire listeners to make a difference. His interview on Andover Radio, which will air Thursday 30th March at 3:20pm, is an inspiring example of how ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things for a good cause.

Pete added “For for over a century, they’ve been helping former servicemen and women deal with issues like PTSD, anxiety, depression, and today, they provide specialist treatment for the support of veterans.

“From every service in conflict, they are focusing mainly on those with complex mental health issues related to their military service. So that’s the reason that we’re doing this. And that’s where the money goes to. If you find it in your heart that you want to donate a couple of quid to myself that would be most appreciated”.

To donate to you can visit their donation page Every contribution counts and can make a significant impact on the mental health of veterans. Burden’s initiative is a powerful reminder that small acts of kindness can go a long way in changing someone’s life for the better.

Pete added how he and Marc decided to do the challenge and how they tweaked it slightly, Pete said “So for some of us and probably all of us have been looking over Facebook and getting these adverts that come up about do this challenge, do that challenge for for charity. I’ve been seeing it all these years and every year I see one, I go right, I must do that. I must give that a go. I can do that. So why can’t I do that.

“So this year, I finally took the plunge and actually clicked on one and put myself up for the combat stress March in March challenge. Now the actual challenge is to march, walk or run 10 miles in the space of March, which when I first looked at that I thought well 10 Miles walk is an afternoon stroll really is not really a huge challenge. So I thought I’d make it a little bit more of a challenging thing. So myself and a friend of mine, Marc, we decided to double it to 20 miles. To make it even a bit more challenging is to wear a full set of loaded 58 pattern webbing. As this is a charity for veterans mental health, I thought it was quite good that we did it in a of kit that they would have used and they will be quite familiar with.

“So our challenge is to march 20 miles on an off road with a full set of 58 which is weighted up to about 45 pounds. To do that within one day. We’re going to set off early in the morning and we’re going to go from Andover to Danebury, Danebury to Stockbridge then Stockbridge to Harewood forest then back into Andover, which equates to about give or take 20 miles. It’s gonna be hard. Yeah, it’s gonna be hard. But then again, that’s the whole point of it. I’m trying to get some interest up, and maybe some people maybe some of your listeners and readers to click on Combat Stress, and donate a couple of quid”.

Combat Stress UK is a charity organization that provides mental health services and support to veterans and serving personnel of the British Armed Forces. The charity was founded in 1919 to support veterans of the First World War who were suffering from what was then known as “shell shock.” Since then, Combat Stress has helped thousands of veterans cope with the psychological wounds of their service, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.

Combat Stress recognizes that mental health issues are a serious concern for many veterans and that seeking help can be difficult. To address this, the charity provides a range of services, including clinical treatment, community-based outreach, and peer support. They also offer a 24-hour helpline for veterans who need someone to talk to.

Combat Stress has a team of specialist clinicians who are trained to provide evidence-based treatments for PTSD, anxiety, and depression. These treatments may include cognitive behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and group therapy. The charity also provides occupational therapy, which can help veterans manage their symptoms and develop new coping strategies.

In addition to clinical treatment, Combat Stress runs a range of community-based outreach programs. These programs provide veterans with access to support groups, employment and education services, and social activities. The charity also works with local organizations to ensure that veterans receive the best possible care in their communities.

Combat Stress recognizes that peer support can be an important part of the recovery process. The charity runs a number of peer support programs, including group therapy sessions, buddy schemes, and online forums. These programs allow veterans to connect with others who have had similar experiences and share their stories in a safe and supportive environment.

Overall, Combat Stress UK plays a vital role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of veterans and serving personnel. The charity’s services are free, confidential, and tailored to the needs of each individual veteran. By providing a range of clinical, community-based, and peer support services, Combat Stress helps veterans to overcome their mental health challenges and rebuild their lives.