Dereham pubs set to go the extra mile for charity
- Credit: Ian Burt
It sounds like a fun pub crawl but dozens of fundraisers are getting ready to put their best feet forward around Dereham's watering holes for a very important cause.
They will be raising money for a charity which supports veterans, reservists, and their families struggling with the effects of combat related stress.
PTSD Resolution provides treatment through a nationwide network of accredited therapists to help those suffering with the mental health problems associated with military trauma.
The Dereham Pub Walk, which is taking place this Saturday, has been organised by the landlord of the Railway Tavern, Paul Sandford, who is a keen supporter of forces charities.
He said he was contacted a few months ago by PTSD Resolution when they launched a new scheme called Pub Hub which calls on publicans to raise awareness locally of military PTSD and the charity and to help with fundraising.
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He said: 'Most of the lads congregate a round a bar, they do around mine, and they start to talk to each other and talk about what they have been through.
'In my experience I see they are proud soldiers who think that they were sent out to do a job and shouldn't be moaning about it. But some of the things they have told me that they have witnessed are horrific and I felt I had to get involved.
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'I want to raise enough funds to have a local counsellor in this area.'
Mr Sandford decided to replicate a Shell Shock walk which took place in London last weekend for the charity.
'I thought I would try to do it in Dereham and get other pubs involved,' he said. 'I am asking all the other pubs in town to raise a team of 10 or more and walk from their local around all the other pubs and bars in Dereham with buckets asking people to donate.
'If each pub puts in £50 to enter we should be able to raise £500 to £1000. Each counselling session costs £500 so I would hope we could pay for two.
'The problem is that there is very little help for PTSD on the NHS once you have left the army. There are a lot of former Light Dragoons still round here and a lot of senior ranks retire to Norfolk so it will benefit those people directly.
'I can see this becoming an annual event and I would love to see other towns taking it on as well.'
Along with the Railway Tavern, pubs already signed up to take part include The Bull, Metro, the Red Lion, Saity's Bar, the Cherry Tree, and the Old Eagle. Many of the participants are expected to wear fancy dress and will be collecting sponsorship as well for each mile or pub covered.
The Railway Tavern has invited the band Skasouls to play in the evening to round off the event.
* Are you organising an event for charity? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.