Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Head of mental health and wellbeing service for military veterans takes on gruelling charity challenge

THE head of Op COURAGE Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service hopes to march 54 miles in less than 24 hours along the Cairngorm Mountains to raise money for a military charity.

David Powell is the Op COURAGE Regional Lead for the East of England. The service has provided care for military veterans since 2017 and Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust is one of the partners who lead the service in a collaborative approach.

He and a team from Op COURAGE are taking part in The Cateran Yomp, one of Scotland’s toughest endurance challenges on June 3.

Every year, hundreds of people gather in the Scottish wilderness to battle through the foothills of the Cairngorm Mountains, walking continuously for 54, 36 or 22 miles over 24 hours.

It replicates a military long distance training march and involves reaching heights of more than 2,000 metres.

David, who is also our Armed Forces Champion and an Army Cadet Force instructor, said: “The Cateran is a core fundraising event for the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF), which is one of the partners who deliver the Op Courage service.

“They run our support group and play a major part in providing support for our armed forces veterans in many ways.

“The ABF provide financial support for ex-military personnel who have suffered hardship after leaving the forces, and also fund a myriad of military charities.

“Veterans who receive this help are supported for as long as they need.

“We started training for The Cateran Yomp late last year, covering long distances across the East of England in an attempt to find some hills that replicate Scotland’s landscape.”

David will be taking on the challenge with Justin Hockaday, a senior nurse from Op COURAGE, and Lloyd Wickens, an Army veteran who had previously served with David. 

You can sponsor the team at https://events.soldierscharity.org/fundraisers/DavidPowell/cateranyomp

The Op COURAGE service in the east of England supports veterans in Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

You can find out more about the service at https://eput.nhs.uk/our-services/op-courage-the-veterans-mental-health-and-wellbeing-service/


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