A FORMER Parachute Regiment officer is bidding to open the UK’s first walk-in centre for veterans suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Redditch man Martin Carver, who is an active fundraiser in the town, is hoping it will help alleviate trauma.
And he is due to run a half-marathon with no water or snacks to raise cash for the opening of the Birmingham centre.
Martin will complete the 13-mile challenge while carrying 30lbs on his back to make the run purposefully ‘tougher’.
“Anyone can run a half-marathon with the right training,” said the Abbey Stadium coach.
“I wanted to make it harder in a bid to attract people’s attention to what I’m raising awareness for.”
It all began when the 60-year-old was contacted by a lady who experienced PTSD after being asked by police to identify her husband who was beheaded in a crash.
“We soon bonded over our close connections to the military and decided to help service personnel who are struggling,” said Martin.
The centre will be opened by charity UK Minds and will be run by veterans for veterans – although an exact location is yet to be confirmed.
Police officers and firefighters who suffer from PTSD will also be welcome to take part in the one-to-one chats.
Martin is hoping to set up a similar operation at the Abbey, where he already runs counselling and exercising classes for people with cancer.
“I’ve had cancer three times so I know exactly what they’re going through – they open up to me,” he said.
“The PTSD class, which will be free of charge, will work in the same way.
“It will be a place for people to exercise, enjoy a cuppa and have a chat.
“Mental illness is massive at the moment, especially with coronavirus, and it’s only going to get worse.”
Earlier this year Martin raised thousands of pounds for the NHS by running 200km in superhero outfits.
“I’m just really passionate about what I do,” he added.
Visit http://www.ptsdproject.org/donations/martin-carver-superhero to sponsor Martin’s half-marathon and help get the PTSD centre off the ground.