The Mountain Way

£20,930 of £40,000 goal

Raised by 243 people in 42 months
The Mountain Way is a UK-based Registered Charity (England & Wales Number: 1171751) which is totally focussed on aiding former UK servicemen suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  

A uniquely effective method (developed by Major Andy Shaw RM retd.) assists the psychologically wounded to reconnect with themselves, re-build relationships with their families and ultimately to integrate back into normal society and employment, reconnecting with their self-esteem, old values and behaviours.

The mission of The Mountain Way is to significantly reduce the incidence of military veteran PTSD-related suicide in the UK (currently estimated to occur at one per week).

The vision is to eradicate it completely.

Following early very successful trials, this campaign is to raise further monies to pay for those suffering from PTSD to attend The Mountain Way programme (c. 17 days per 'guest' veteran - run on a one-to-one basis). The more money we raise the more suffering veterans we can help!

See for more - including Andy's inspirational personal story and details on this incredibly impactful approach.
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Dear Friends
The Mountain Way moves on. We have recently had a new addition to the team, Simon Miller, who is joining us as our treasurer. We are delighted at this news and also welcome Tristan David on an internship. He will help us with our social media plans over the summer. I am now working with our next guest, who is a retired Royal Marine. He will be in the French Pyrenees with me at the end of this month for 15 days. Thank you all once again for your fantastic support. It really does help to save lives. All the very best, Andy.
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This last month has been a challenge. Billy, our latest guest, suffers from PTSD and Gulf War Illness. These two crippling conditions have completely swamped his life. However, once he got onto the prgramme he demonstrated complete motivation and determination to make the most of this opportunity.
On Thursday the 28th of September 2017 Billy made a major resolution on the summit of Mount Salvguardia, 9000', which straddles the border of France and Spain. This was also highly symbolic for him, and casting his "Face of Evil" (made from clay and acrylics) into the void he pledged to turn his life around. Billy has asked for his video to be published.
Billy's Summit Sesolution 28/09/17
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Dear Friends

Thanks to the generosity of many people, from Mark Slatter, Chairman of Olympian Homes, to the kind and generous people now mentioned on this site, not forgetting the wonderful folk of Aberystwyth, Wales who donated £422•68 on the hottest day of the year in Morrison's supermarket, we are now in a good enough financial position to take our next PTSD guest out to France.

We start his experience next week in the Pyrenees. He has been suffering for 15 years and desperately needs some solutions. Having trialed our Open Door preparatory phase with our last guest, Bobby, there is a marked difference in the way our guests now face their challenge. I feel our next guest, who wishes to remain anonymous, has already put in 100% towards preparing himself, and will consequently achieve a great deal over the coming fortnight.
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On Tuesday the 31st of May 2016 Chris Monk, one of our founder members of the working group that supports our cause with voluntary work, died suddenly near his home in Devon whilst out running.

He was just shy of his 53rd birthday.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Lynn, Chris's wife, and Emily, his daughter.

Here is an account of his funeral, which took place on Friday the 24th of June 2016:

"It feels odd and slightly disrespectful to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway: Chris Monk’s funeral and subsequent Celebration yesterday were brilliant. I’ve thought carefully about that word – Brilliant - and it is right to use it. It was simply a brilliant day.

A large crowd assembled in the sunshine at the East Devon Crematorium. They came from all over. All were smart; some were in uniform, the ladies all looked lovely and beautifully turned out. It was, for me and others, a sort of Corps reunion, with a cross-section of Chris’s life including some very senior officers who could have been excused from attending due to high responsibilities. It was a mark of how much Chris meant to us all.

Chris’s body was brought in by 6 pallbearers, commanded by a Royal Marine Corporal in full Blues and assisted by another RM Corporal in Blues. His plain wooden casket was draped with the Regimental flag of the Royal Marines and the Cornish flag. On top stood a pair of his running shoes and a rugby ball.

They placed Chris in an impeccably well-drilled and precise manner that befitted an old soldier being laid to rest.

Inside, even the standing room was taken up as the minister officiated in a very gentle and comforting manner. His words were spot on and set exactly the right tone. Lynn gave a wonderfully evocative and brave speech that completely encapsulated what Chris was and especially what he meant to her. This was followed by Chris’s daughter Emily who also touched everyone’s hearts by again, very bravely, sharing with us her memories of her dad and many exquisite snapshots of their special relationship. These two wonderful speeches not only allowed many tears to flow but generated a sense of pure love that palpably filled the chapel.

Queen’s “Don’t stop me now” was followed by Alexandra Burke’s haunting rendition of “Halleluja”. Both struck a deep chord in us.

A Royal Marine bugler blew “The Last Post” as we all
stood to attention.

As we left, the congregation filed slowly past the casket and taking one of many coloured pens wrote a final message to Chris on the coffin. There were some cracking comments and the mix of colours produced a magical effect, which for me was an unexpected and wonderful last chance to talk to Chris. I simply wrote:

“Nice one Monkers! Love from The Mountain Way XXXXX”.

The Celebration took place in the Redwing pub in Lympstone village. It was Lynn and Chris’s local and was packed to the gunwhales. After an hour of drinking, pasty munching, back slapping, raucous laughter, hugging, and more tears, the speeches began. Seven people from different walks of Chris’s life spoke eloquently, hilariously, movingly, and finally in complete harmony with all that knew him. Time and again the same words were repeated: sincerity, genuineness, truly caring, wonderfully inspiring, irreplaceable, much loved and admired.

The Mountain Way was given the pride of place with the final speech and then we conducted an auction of some of Chris’s items that raised just over £3000, one friend donating £1000 for a climbing chock and another giving over £800 for a few juggling balls!! It was that kind of day.

Much later the entire pub engaged in the sort of dancing only seen in Royal Marine officer’s messes after midnight, to Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”, and much much later the diehards, which included Lynn and Emily, took part in a spoofing competition, which resulted in one awesome Royal Marine Lieutenant Colonel necking a high combat boot-full of richly noxious fluids in real style.

Monkers would have loved it.

Yes, it was a brilliant day. And thanks to Chris and Lynn’s legacy we can now take our next PTSD guest out to France, where I am confident we will turn his life about.

It was exactly what everyone wanted. Chris knew how to turn disaster and tragedy into triumph. He truly lived his life, every day, according to his high principles and simple humanity.

We promise to live up to them in fond and everlasting memory of our dearest friend: Chris Monk."
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Keith Hardman
36 months ago

Please donate this great cause

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£20,930 of £40,000 goal

Raised by 243 people in 42 months
Created May 30, 2015
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Keith Hardman
36 months ago

Please donate this great cause

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