With Christmas fast approaching, for many a time of financial pressure and loneliness, more ex-service personnel then ever require support.

Military charity Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) aims to get the nation walking this festive season in aid of wounded ex-servicemen and women. As regular walkers, WWTW hopes the dog owning community will sign up to take part along with their dogs in the charity’s Christmas appeal ‘Walking Home For Christmas‘. The campaign is supported by Wolsey, who during World War One supplied over 18 million woollen jerseys, scarves and pieces of underwear to the British Armed Forces.

By taking part, you’ll be helping to raise vital funds for those who have little to look forward to this upcoming festive season. The charity wants to raise a quarter of a million pounds which will enable the charity to change the lives of more than 400 men and women.

Credit: Natasha Moody

Richard, who served four years as a Trooper in the 13/18th Royal Hussars, said, “This time last year I was living in the woods. Thanks to WWTW, this Christmas I am in a job and have a roof over my head.”

Evidence shows that there are still thousands of ex-service personnel like Richard who are struggling or haven’t yet sought the support they require. Walking With The Wounded’s mission is to support all ex-servicemen and women with physical, mental or social injury to gain the skills and qualifications necessary to develop new careers outside the military, re-integrate into society and provide long term security for themselves and their families.

Andy Sloan, Events Manager at WWTW said, “Too many of our ex-military have little to look forward to this Christmas. They’ve walked in far more dangerous environments for us, so it is the least we can all do to organise a walk for them.

“We want people to throw on a Santa hat, call up old friends and raise some funds so that we can support these men and women back into work, back into independence and into a place where they can look forward to and enjoy Christmas with their families.”

Richard adds, “I am looking forward to spending Christmas with my godson and his family. I’ll be able to buy them presents, something I never thought possible.”

Credit: Lee Simmons

In addition to supporting these vulnerable men and women, Rod Eldridge, Clinical Lead at WWTW, reminds us that, “Walking as a form of physical activity is well known to be associated with improving mental health, particularly lowering rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.”

It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have up to a 30 per cent lower risk of depression and up to a 30 per cent lower risk of dementia. Some scientists think that it can improve mental wellbeing because it brings about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.

Join the walk

To take part, the British public and their four-legged friend can do any sort of walk between Friday 8th to Sunday 17th December. Simply:

  • Sign up at org.uk/Christmas
  • Receive your Santa hat and fundraising pack in the post.
  • Set a date and put your best foot forward between Friday 8th – Sunday 17th December

 

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