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'Have a Cracking Christmas', is an exclusive design for Help for Heroes this Christmas by Thomas, a Veteran chosen as part of our annual Christmas card competition. Former Infantry soldier, Thomas joined the 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment for 13 years before being medically discharged in 2016 due to cardiac complications. Thomas was first introduced to Help for Heroes after his colleague received help after being discharged from the Army. Thomas began attending courses at Tedworth House which helped him immensely. Art plays an important role in Thomas’ recovery. He says, ‘I use art almost daily with my recovery, it’s my safe escape’. The larger ethical graffiti work created by Thomas often draws lots of attention, he says, ‘I love nothing more than catching the reaction of the public, just someone stopping to take two seconds out of their day to enjoy my work, big or small, is a massive boost which I thrive on.
'A Winter Robin', is an exclusive design by Mark, a former Infantryman. Mark joined as a junior soldier at the age of 15. He undertook many tours around the world, including time spent in the Falklands, the Gulf war, Cyprus and Bosnia before being medically discharged in 1995, after 16 years of service. Mark said he had many years of good health, before being affected by mini strokes, including ‘’one big one’’ says Mark. This brought back memories Mark had buried for years, leading to the breakdown of his first marriage. Mark says it was his current wife who discovered Help for Heroes and encouraged him to seek help. He says, ’The support from them is second-to-none. Always someone to talk to if I need support. I now attend Help for Heroes recovery centre in Plymouth where I have all the support I need, plus I get to meet ex Servicemen and Women with the same problems’’. Mark uses Photography as a device to focus his mind, he says, ’Photography is my escape from reality, it keeps my mind focused on now, this moment in time and not in the past. Each image is a new life experience for me’’.
'Thank you for the Presents', by Julie, a member of our Band of Sisters Fellowship. Julie first heard about Help for Heroes in 2014 when her husband Mark was discharged from the Army. She says ‘Life was pretty tough before we got support. I was juggling a full-time job, a home and caring for Mark, both physically and mentally. It was slowly wearing me down and I think without support it would have broken me’. Julie and Mark began visiting Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick in 2017 for respite weekends. Mark was able to join the Band of Brothers fellowship, where he found new hobbies, gained more independence and made new friends and Julie found support through the Band of Sisters, she says, ‘The support we’ve had from H4H has helped us both greatly’. It was after visiting the art room at Phoenix House that Julie began to reconnect with her love of art, she says, ‘I focus on the paper in front of me and I am distracted from my worries. It helps relax me and gives me much needed “me time”’. She even created her own creative space at home as her “little sanctuary” to paint and be creative.
- The greeting inside the card reads 'With Best Wishes For Christmas and the New Year'
- 10 pack, card size - 126x126mm
- One design
- Envelopes included
- Card printed in the UK on FSC approved and sustainable Incada board