From Kent to Pegasus Bridge War Memorial- Veteran to kayak 222 miles for charity
Veteran Graham Stobbs will be embarking on an epic solo fundraising mission next month, along with veteran Cormac Doyle MBE from The Bridge Charity (supporting land vehicle). The team will be raising money for the Veteran’s Hub Swindon, Walking With The Wounded and The Veterans Hub Weymouth.
Graham will set off from Dungeness in Kent and sprint 29 miles across the channel, before completing a further grueling 10+ hours of kayaking a day as he follows the coast of France down to the Pegasus Bridge War Memorial and finally completes the challenge at Point Du Hoc.
Depending on the weather and sea conditions, Graham will start paddling between 12th – 14th August in an 18ft P&H Scorpio Sea Kayak, aiming to raise as much money as possible for the veterans’ causes that are close to his heart. Graham is a passionate supporter of these charities having suffered with his own mental health problems and is taking on this challenge to help break the stigma around mental health and encourage veterans to open up, talk and ask for help. As part of his treatment Graham is undergoing intense EMDR therapy with Cormac Doyle MBE of The Bridge Charity. Cormac is supporting Graham throughout this challenge and his on-going treatment.
All funds raised will help veterans, with some of the money being donated to Graham’s own charity, The Veterans Hub Swindon with the aim of creating a permanent centre, offering much needed mental health support, wellbeing advice and guidance for serving personnel, veterans and their families, a dream that the team are working hard to make a reality.
Funds will also be donated to Walking With The Wounded and The Veterans Hub Weymouth, charities well known for supporting the mental health of veterans across the UK.
Graham, 48, who is currently training hard for the trip, commented: “I’m excited and nervous about the trip. The challenge will push the boundaries of my mental wellbeing, endurance and physical capability. Mental health and PTSD is a real challenge for veterans that commonly goes unrecognised for many years after service and the funds are desperately needed so I’m determined to do my bit to help those who have given so much for their country.”
Graham added “This is also part of my own healing process and I hope to encourage others to reach out about their own difficulties and seek help like I did. I want to show there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
This is not the only way Graham supports veterans causes, he is also founder of Swindon’s Mfor Festival, a family fun day meets music festival - which supports veteran, military and mental health charities, including The Veterans Hub.
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