Forces Help to Buy (FHTB) was introduced in 2014 as a £200 million scheme to help Service personnel get on the property ladder. The fact that the latest ﬁgures show that since that time around £215 million has been spent is testament to its popularity. If you haven’t looked at how the scheme could help you and your family, it’s time you did since it is scheduled to close at the end of December 2018.
To help former servicemen and women with mental health problems, Combat Stress have a unique nationwide Peer Support Service.
Mick Dawson Served with the Royal Marines between 1980 and 1991 and is a Falklands Conﬂict Veteran. He’s about to row the Paciﬁc Ocean with his fellow Veteran, Steve Sparkes, who is blind.
Andy joined the Royal Marines at 17, and Served for six and a half years including tours of Iraq and Afghanistan. Andy’s Military career was cut short after he was injured in an explosion in Afghanistan. Since then he’s been an Invictus Games champion, world record breaker – and he’s now a motivational speaker and author.
Continue reading “Civvy Life: Andy Grant”
Ten days until former Royal Marines and Falkland’s veterans tackle historic Falkland’s kayak
In just ten days (12th March 2017) two former Royal Marines and Falkland’s veterans, Mick Dawson and Steve Grenham, will leave the UK to embark on a historic and daunting adventure which will see them kayak around the unforgiving coastline of Falkland Islands to raise awareness of PTSD amongst armed forces personnel and veterans.
This challenge, titled the Cockleshell Endeavour, is set to take around two weeks and will see the Falkland veterans tackle freezing conditions, wildlife including sharks and whales, and unexploded mines left over from the conflict. However for one half of the team in particular, Steve Grenham, there’s not just the physical challenges to overcome. Steve will also be dealing with his own symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which is has been affected by for a number of years, a situation he feels may be relate back to his experiences both in the Falkland war and tours of Northern Ireland.
It is hoped the Cockleshell Endeavour will help to put a spotlight on the hugely relevant subject of PTSD as a whole in the service community. Brighton based Mick and Steve are also hoping to raise money for their chosen charity, The Royal Marine’s Charity.
This endeavour is particularly timely as this year marks the 35th anniversary of the Falklands War and the pair will be visiting key locations around the Islands to pay tribute to their fellow veterans and those who lost their lives in the conflict.
Before embarking on this challenge both Steve and Mick were novice kayakers so have had to learn how to kayak effectively as well as train in skills that could potentially save their lives during the kayak. This preparation has involved completing a number of steadily increasing challenges, including competing in The Devizes to Westminster Canoe/Kayak race in April 2015 and The Yukon River Quest in June 2015.
Mick and Steve are using this endeavour to raise money for the Royal Marine Charity. To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fun
Mick Dawson, former Royal Marine, Falkland’s veteran and ocean rower, says:
“Although I have some experience in nautical challenges, neither Steve or I are experienced kayakers so this endeavour will really push us to the limits, both physically and mentally. Over the past couple of years we have undertaken a huge amount of training and participation in some incredibly hard events to prepare us for this and we both feel we are now ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is something suffered by potentially thousands of forces veterans across the UK but there is very little knowledge or understanding of it. Through the Cockleshell Endeavour we hope to raise awareness of the illness and raise much needed funds for those charities already supporting the Armed Forces community affected by it.”