7th, November, 2018: Since the start of this year over fifty young men and women have committed suicide in Britain. All ex-servicemen or women they could not find the help and support they needed to overcome the intolerable issues that drove them to such an extreme action.
I discovered this a few weeks earlier when talking to a British war veteran at a local business networking event. This prompted me into taking action and trying to raise awareness and support for other veterans and their families around the country in this centenary year of the WWI Armistice.
In the following three weeks I spoke with a local film studio who gave their support and time and reached out to local veterans and their families to speak on behalf of everyone who need our support.
My film "Remember Tommy" is here to remind everyone of the continuing need to support our war veterans and their families for all their commitment and sacrifice in protecting us all.
There are many good causes, charities, the biggest being the Royal British Legion and their annual poppy appeal at this time of year. There is good work being done by the armed forces despite the austerity measures from the government, and there are many smaller groups all around the country trying their best to help in specialist ways.
In my discussions with veterans over the last few weeks one point was repeatedly raised - the lack of a signposting service to network and bring all the services and support together in one accessible place, so every veteran any family could find the support and help they needed. This, along with other smaller opportunities to give aid, has become the focus of my efforts to raise support that I hope can benefit everyone in the country.
This is not a short campaign to raise a few thousand pounds in a few days. I hope, with your support, this can become a larger and flourishing idea to gather support that isn't available elsewhere. The voices you have heard on the film are just a brief moment of expression in a story that goes far deeper, and there are many opportunities to make the country aware of how much need there is and what we can do about it, together and individually.
With sufficient support and quick success we may be able to reach the levels of public awareness normally only associated with a high profile event, whether that is the Remembrance Sunday or other charitable activities at this time of year.
I know that this is only a drop in the ocean of need, but I believe it can be the starting point of something greater for everyone who needs our support.
The funds raised here in this campaign will go to meet the needs I've been able to identify so far, researching into a signposting service, working with other agencies to bring together a single point of contact for veterans and their families. There are small groups that also deserve specialist support, whether to deal with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or the small burdens faced by those who have been in service for many years and need help settling into civilian life, like how to manage their own finances in this desperately austere time.
I am not working with any one cause, though I am open to talking to them all as our campaign here flourishes. I know the spirit of our message, Remember Tommy, is not politically-correct in some quarters, so we shall work independently to bring as much benefit as we can to these issues.
Shall we say, between now and the New Year. What can you do to help everyone Remember Tommy?
Shall we exceed our target many times over?
Let's mobilise and army of support today.
DECLARATION: USE OF FUNDS
To assist in a signposting service and other smaller specialist support groups and activities for veterans and their families.
7% shall be set aside to account for payment, bank and card processing, administration and any other small expenses.
All other funds (93%) shall be declared and disposed of as appropriately in accordance with this campaign.
THANKS to everyone who helped with the filming:-
Peter & Chris, who got the word far and wide.
Our veteran and family volunteers on the day: Chris, Laura (and Miller), Marie and Wayne and all those who couldn't make the day but gave their support in their own ways.
Everyone who shared their own experiences about the current state of support for veterans and their families around the country.
All the crew at Galleon Studios in Manchester who gave their time, professionalism and patience for this project.
And Rudyard Kipling for voicing much of this over a hundred years ago.