All Call Signs headquarters in Southsea Portsmouth 280420 CREDIT BFBS.jpg

Prime Minister Gives Personal Thanks To Veterans For Mental Health Service

Boris Johnson said the former soldiers are an "inspiration to the whole country" as they received the Daily Point of Light award.

All Call Signs headquarters in Southsea Portsmouth 280420 CREDIT BFBS.jpg

Two veterans have received personal thank you letters from the Prime Minister as they were given an award for making a difference in their community.

Dan Arnold and Stephen James, from Portsmouth, created All Call Signs – a mental health chat service, manned by 700 volunteer veterans, that offers peer-to-peer text chats with former and serving military personnel.

Boris Johnson said the pair "epitomise the very best of our country" as they were named winners of the Daily Point of Light award which recognises inspirational volunteers every weekday.

Mr Arnold and Mr James both served in Second Battalion, The Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment, and set up the service, based in Southsea, Portsmouth, following their experiences with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the death of their friend and comrade in 2018.

The network, which is run totally by volunteers, uses a specially designed app that allows users to connect with a listener instantly.

Mr Arnold and Mr James said they were "completely blown away" to receive the award.

"This award is for the whole All Call Signs community who share our passion to change the landscape of Armed Forces mental health," they said.

In a personal letter to Mr Arnold, Mr Johnson said: "From your service in Afghanistan, you understand the courage and fortitude required to serve in our brilliant Armed Forces and the enormity of the challenges that can be faced on a mission.

"So it is fantastic to learn how you and Stephen have raised an army of veteran volunteers who provide peer-to-peer comradeship to anyone in need of support.

"You are not only Points of Light to our serving military, but an inspiration to the whole country."

Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street 160920 CREDIT PA
Mr Johnson said the pair "epitomise the very best of our country" (Picture: PA).

In a similar letter to Mr James, the Prime Minister said he was "lost in admiration" for their charitable efforts. 

"I want to thank you for your service to our country and the bravery with which you have shared the trauma of PTSD," he said. 

"I am lost in admiration for how you have drawn on this experience to create a brilliant tech support service for those who are serving today.

"Together with Dan, you epitomise the very best of our country and I am honoured to be able to recognise your service."

The pair also run a suicide prevention system called 'Beacon Alert' that has helped stop more than 100 attempts among veterans.

They are also working with the Office for Veterans’ Affairs to help improve mental health services for veterans.