Men and women who risk their lives disposing of hazardous ordnance face highly pressured situations almost daily but a £7,000 grant from the Big Salute aims to offer them therapeutic support.
Working in such a pressured environment can expose bomb disposal and search personnel to intense stress that can have lasting effects, both physical and mental.
Military charity, the Felix Fund supports bomb disposal experts and their families through a range of services that includes everything from therapeutic breaks and other welfare and rehabilitation facilities to supporting injured personnel.
Your donations go towards helping organisations such as the Felix Fund or other charities like it and some small change from you can make a big impact.
Melanie Moughton, Felix Fund's Chief Executive, who came to Forces Radio BFBS headquarters to speak to Warren Moore on Totally Connected about how the charity helps those who need them the most, said:
"We've done things such as funeral expenses which is deeply sad, mobility equipment for those who have been injured, home adaptations.
"It ranges so widely, it's incredible what we can actually do with such a small charity."
The Big Salute grant will be used for ‘Dashboard’ courses - a series of mindfulness courses for serving soldiers who are involved with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) duties.
The aim is to provide techniques to enable individuals to recognise warning signs and develop their ability to relax, clear their minds, and focus on positive aspects of their life.
Staff Sergeant Anthony Burnie Burness, of 621 EOD unit, describing the Dashboard course, said:
“The beginning of the week you could see people were a bit reserved, keeping things in themselves, not knowing what to expect … but as the week’s gone on we’ve got more and more relaxed and enjoyed it, so it’s been a bit of a surprise.”
In what ways will the Big Salute grant of £7,000 make an impact?
"It will help us massively because obviously, it enables us to run another course, that's ten more people through the programme."
The Felix Fund has been running the mindfulness courses since 2016 but there are plans to add a new course very soon.
"Next year we will be running our first veterans course. We haven't dabbled in that yet.
"It's something we wanted to get up and running and secure with what we were doing with the serving personnel.
"There's a whole raft of veterans out there who need our help."
The BFBS Big Salute is an annual campaign that raises vital funds for armed forces charities.
Most recently, the Big Salute has awarded grants to 13 charities: Alabare, Association of Royal Naval Officers (ARNO), Blesma the Limbless Veterans, Bridge4Heroes, Combat Stress, Felix Fund, Glen Art, Help 4 Homeless Veterans, The Matthew Project, Turn to Starboard, Unload and Veterans Aid.
Donate any change you can spare to the BFBS Big Salute Christmas Campaign to support armed forces charities.
Visit forces.net/bigsalute to make your donation or pop into your local Forces Radio BFBS studio where we have collecting tins at the ready.