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Charity Gains Experienced Fundraiser Onto Its Board

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Combat Stress
: 03 May, 2010  (Company News)
Balhousie Care Group Chairman joins board of the Enemy Within appeal with the aim of raising money for the Combat Stress charity
Charity Gains Experienced Fundraiser Onto Its Board
Tony Banks, the chairman of Balhousie Care Group, has joined the board of the ‘Enemy Within’ appeal which hopes to raise £30 million for the charity Combat Stress.

Combat Stress has provided support for military veterans suffering from mental health and trauma problems caused by their military service since 1919. The £30 million will be used to provide a national network of community teams who can provide personal support throughout the country.

Mr Banks, who served with 2 Para in the Falklands, became a supporter of Combat Stress after filming for Channel 4’s ‘Secret Millionaire’ programme in Anfield, Liverpool last year.

“Whilst I was undercover in Anfield I met 29 year-old Lee Sanger, a veteran of the Iraq war, who was suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),” said Mr Banks. “I have been in touch with Lee ever since and he has really made me aware of the vital work Combat Stress are doing.”

Since his experiences on ‘Secret Millionaire’ Combat Stress has become Mr Banks’ number one priority and earlier this year he returned to the Falklands and retraced the route of the Paratroopers famous ‘tab’ from Port Stanley to raise funds.

New figures released by the charity show the numbers of veterans being treated by the charity have increased by two thirds in the last five years. More than 1,177 former servicemen have approached the charity in the last twelve months alone.

This figure could rise sharply among the 17,000 servicemen who leave the forces every year because of the intense fighting in recent years in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We are expecting an increased demand on our services because on average veterans do not seek help from Combat Stress until 14 years after they have left the forces,” said Mr Banks.

“The unseen injuries of war – the nightmares, flashbacks, anxieties, depression, anger and guilt – in short, the psychological injuries, can render the sufferer totally incapacitated,” said Prince Charles, patron of Combat Stress, when he launched the ‘The Enemy Within’ appeal in March.

“The impact of current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan may only be seen in the years to come.”

Liam Fox, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, reaffirmed his commitment to ex-serviceman’s mental health and announced a post-traumatic stress treatment programme and mental health screening for all service leavers.
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