GIFTS of a signed Sunderland shirt and signed Sunderland match ball have been donated by The Steadfast Group this week as part of efforts to raise money for military charity Veterans At Ease.
The items will be auctioned off as part of a major money-raising drive at the Mayor of Durham’s Civic Dinner at Durham Town Hall this Friday.
And Steadfast managing director Michael Harbord says the company is thrilled to be supporting such a worthy cause.
County Durham-based Steadfast is one of the top 50 security guard companies in the country, providing manned and electronic guarding to dozens of businesses across the country.
And many of their personnel – right up to boardroom level – have military and police backgrounds.
Veterans At Ease is a small locally-based charity which does tremendous work in the community to help veterans overcome the traumas of war after serving their country.
It has made a massive impact on the lives of many ex-servicemen – helping veterans, reservists, serving military personnel and their families deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat stress-related issues.
The charity, which will help anyone who feels they need our support – whether they have been diagnosed with PTSD or not – has three offices, one in Jarrow (South Tyneside), one in Durham City (County Durham) and one in Newton Aycliffe (South Durham, Tees Valley).
Therapy is provided free of charge by trained therapists (all of whom have suffered themselves, been through treatment with Veterans at Ease and then gone on to qualify as therapy practitioners themselves).
Michael Harbord, who will be offering his support at the Civic Dinner, said: “It’s a tremendously worthwhile cause and one close to our own hearts.
“When we heard the Mayor of Durham, Cllr Edward Bell was holding his dinner in aid of Veterans At Ease, we were only too happy to help.
“We provide the security for the Stadium of Light and Academy of Light at Sunderland Football Club and as part of our partnership with them we have been able to give donate items which are highly sought after to the auction.
“Ironically, Steadfast will also be discreetly providing security for the event on the night, so we are supporting the Mayor’s Civic Dinner in more ways than one!”
Evidence has shown that the majority of servicemen and women do not seek help with regard to combat-related stress issues until 10 to 14 years after the event.
Considering the UK’s recent military commitments in Iraq, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan, the figure for those potentially suffering from their experiences whilst on active service is substantial. And recent estimates show that as many as 90,000 people could be affected by PTSD in the North East alone.
Symptoms of PTSD include social isolation, paranoia, anger, depression, flashbacks and nightmares with suicide resulting in some cases.
Further information on the charity can be found at: http://www.veteransatease.org/.