Sir Patrick Stewart and Combat Stress crossed paths in 2012 when our then trustee, Robert Bieber MBE, helped Sir Patrick to understand his father's wartime experience for the BBC's genealogy programme Who Do You Think You Are?
Sir Patrick's father served with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and Parachute Regiment during the Second World War. He returned to the UK reportedly suffering from shell shock.
Robert helped Sir Patrick to understand the historical treatment of Veterans who suffered from psychological injuries, and how his father would have been affected by the condition.
Since then, Sir Patrick has supported Combat Stress by attending the ICAP Charity Day 2012 cheque presentation at 10 Downing Street and offering his encouragement to Veterans who may need Combat Stress's dedicated support.
Sir Patrick Stewart said: “My father suffered in silence with the PTSD he sustained in the Second World War. Through meeting Combat Stress I understand how the trauma affected my father on a daily basis and why it is important for Veterans to seek help.
“Combat Stress helps thousands of Veterans to rebuild their lives by giving them access to specialist treatment, support and advice. Call the Combat Stress 24-hour Helpline on 0800 138 1619.”
Actress Joanne Froggatt has become an ambassador to Combat Stress to help the charity raise awareness of its work delivering specialist care to thousands of ex-Service men and women across the UK, and play a pivotal role in encouraging more Veterans and their families to seek help.
Known to the nation as Downton Abbey’s lady’s maid Anna Bates, Joanne visited Combat Stress while researching her award-winning role of a soldier suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the film In Our Name. She is delighted to become an ambassador for the charity as it prepares to mark its 95th anniversary.
Joanne said: “I’m looking forward to helping Combat Stress raise awareness of its lifesaving work. Speaking to Veterans helped by the charity gave me an insight into the world in which those suffering from trauma live. With the support of Combat Stress they can once again live a fulfilling life with their families.
“It is important that families know the signs of trauma so that they can support the Veteran in seeking help. If Veterans or their loved ones recognise a change in behaviour, I urge them to call the Combat Stress 24-hour Helpline (0800 138 1619).”
Image courtesy of Rachell Smith