Matt Neve was a Senior Aircraftman in the Royal Air Force before being discharged in 2004. Following mental health difficulties, which led to several challenges including depression, Matt felt a lack of self-worth and purpose.
In 2016 Matt joined Help for Heroes' Band of Brothers fellowship and began recieving help from our Hidden Wounds service for this mental health and engaged with Sports Recovery, which introduced him to archery. A grant from Help for Heroes enabled Matt to buy his own kit and benefit from sport. In 2017 Matt was selected to compete in the Invictus Games in Toronto.
He said, ''The focus of archery, when I am looking down the range at the target, I just switch off and all the tension builds in the draw of the arrow and then it goes with the arrow when it's released. It's an escape''.
Matt regularly takes part in Community Recovery activities in Wales and has taken part in positive challenges, like trekking across the Sahara desert, and has represented Help for Heroes in his home city of Swansea where he met Prince Charles at a civic event. Matt said, '' To be asked to so that was quite an honour. It was a real privilege to be asked to represent the Charity at such a prestigious event, so it was really nice to be able to go along and have a chat with him about how Help for Heroes has helped me and my family''.
Matt is a keen fundraiser for Help for Heroes, undertaking sponsored Motorcycle rides and supporting other veterans needing help. He was part of the Help for Heroes 'Cut the Clock' campaign, encouraging veterans to come forward for mental health support.
''I got involved with the Cut the Clock campaign because, for me, it was all about trying to reach out to those that either don't feel they deserve support or they don't think they need support. And it's about reaching out to them. They may be isolating themselves at home or isolating themselves away from anyone else''.
Matt and Zoe joined us on our Christmas photoshoot on a very warm July day! On taking part in the photoshoot Matt said, ''It's been great fun, I've really enjoyed doing it, but it's just a bit mad wearing bobble hats at the end of July! But it's been really good fun''.