Highly-trained individuals, like Cathy, face an unknown future because they have been wounded, or they may have developed a serious illness whilst serving our country.
Injured in Afghanistan, Cathy was left with permanent back and lower limb damage. Her mental health was also affected:
“I came back from Afghanistan a different person and was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s scary because you want to come back to the same person, you don’t want your family to feel like they’ve lost you – but I felt like I’d lost me. Since my return, I have had difficulty working out who I am now.”
“When I came back home and tried to get back to normality – it didn’t happen. I’d be walking the dog and then I’d feel I was in Afghanistan, responding to threats we faced there… it’s scary.”
Thanks to Help for Heroes creative programmes, Cathy says she’s on a pathway to finding a ‘new identity’:
“I was given some clay and I started moulding it – it was amazing how quickly I found that it would quiet my thoughts. I feel that part of me is still out there reliving events, every hour of every day, and my body responds as though it is real. I consciously have to think about the here and now, but when I started moulding clay – I felt silence. Time flew by, I felt so relaxed afterwards.”
Cathy says that creativity has changed her, and the freedom of clay work allows her to work on it whenever:
“Every day I’m trying to take a step forward. It’s not always easy and sometimes I step back, but at least I am out moving in the right direction. For my art to be displayed in the Creative Force Exhibition makes me feel so proud– I hadn’t realised how much I get from being creative.”
Day-to-day life should never be a struggle. Sadly, for many of those, we support this is the case. Meaning they and their families need specialist help to aid recovery from wounds both visible and hidden.
Help Cathy and countless others who put their lives on the line for us have a second chance at life.
Life changing projects like Creative Force rely on public generosity. By donating today, you are enabling more wounded Veterans and their families to recover from physical and psychological injuries.