Louth’s Inner Wheel Club has handed over a £3,000 cheque to Combat Stress, following a year of tireless fundraising for good causes.
The club celebrated its 55th annual charter dinner at Kenwick Park Golf Club last Tuesday, with President Tessa Holdaway handing over the £3,000 cheque to her son, Andy, on behalf of Combat Stress - a mental welfare charity that supports ex-servicemen and women.
As reported in the Leader on March 25, Andy Holdaway is currently rebuilding his life after suffering a devastating brain tumour last year, while he was a serving Royal Marines Commando.
Andy and Tessa have family members and friends who have been affected by mental ill-health, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, following military service.
Andy said: “Combat Stress doesn’t just improve lives, it actually saves lives.
“There are lots of amazing charities providing physical support for veterans, but in the last few years mental illness has come more to the forefront. PTSD used to just be ignored.
“The Inner Wheel Club does lots of amazing work, which they do tirelessly and selflessly, and I’m proud that my mum is a part of it.”
President Tessa Holdaway said: “It is the custom for Inner Wheel Presidents to adopt a charity for their year in office.
“I have, both through family experience and reading accounts of veterans from the last hundred years, realised that the physical injuries elicit immediate response and cannot be concealed.
“However, the mental injuries are concealed and can become far more damaging to a veteran and family, if they are not dealt with.”
As part of Tessa’s fundraising, she arranged for the Meridian Singers to give a charity concert at Nichol Hill Methodist Church last July.
In August, Tessa also completed a sponsored cycle ride around Rutland Water.
These fundraising events, in addition to other activities throughout the year, led to more than £3,000 being raised for Tessa’s chosen charity.
Inner Wheel District Chairman Jenny Birch and President of the Rotary Club of Louth, John Macdonald, were present on the night of the cheque handover, with the Mayor of Louth Andrew Leonard also in attendance.
Mayor Leonard said: “This is a very worthy cause, and the plight of our armed forces returning from duty should not be overlooked.
“The dedication of the Inner Wheel Club of Louth to raise such a large sum of money should be commended”.