20 July 2021
A test of mental and physical strength
Hot, sandy, unstable terrain - a real test of endurance and
That's the challenge facing a serving member of the armed forces
and a veteran, as they take on a huge challenge to help veterans
with mental health difficulties.
Veteran Martin Shorey and Monty Byrne, who is still serving in
the Armed Forces, will be trekking back and forth along a 29 mile
stretch of Dorset coastline, from Sandbanks to Southbourne,
continuously for 24 hours.
And just to make the challenge even tougher, the duo will be
carrying a HM Forces medical stretcher and mannequin along the
Starting on Saturday 7th August, the duo will
undertake the challenge at the height of British summertime,
meaning they could face anything from sweltering heat to torrential
Speaking ahead of the challenge, Monty said: "There is no doubt
that this challenge is going to test both our physical fitness and
our mental strength. We'll have very little rest for 24 hours and
will have to maintain a strong mind set to complete the journey.
But, that's the idea. We have both seen the impact that operational
deployment can have on the mental health and wellbeing of military
personnel and wanted to do something to challenge ourselves, whilst
raising money for a good cause."
Monty and Marty will be raising money for the NHS veterans'
mental health and wellbeing service, Operation Courage, which
provides specialist care and support for service leavers,
reservists, veterans and their families.
Marty said: "Whilst this is a tough challenge, it does not
compare to some of the conditions serving and former military
personnel have faced as part of their military service. As well as
raising money for Operation Courage, this is also about recognising
the fantastic contribution that our serving and former military
representatives make towards protecting our country, and for that
we salute them."
Rufus Pettett, Veterans Mental Health Service Manager, at Avon
and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, said: "The
impact that serving in the Armed Forces can have on someone can be
huge, with many serving and former military personnel facing mental
health problems as a result of their service. If you're concerned
about your own, or someone else's mental health, as a result of
their service, you can find out more about how to access our
services by visiting: /services/specialist/veterans/
Monty and Marty hope to raise £3,000 throughout their challenge
and will be collecting donations as they go. You can also support
them by making a donation via their Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Op-Courage