It is unbelievable to think that very soon we shall commemorate a year since the tragic death of my brother, Captain David Seath. This year has been nothing short of horrific and living day-to-day is an absolute struggle. As many have said, David’s death contradicts the conventional order of life and I will never recover from seeing my younger brother in St Thomas’ Hospital that Sunday evening. However, the incredible support which I have received from so many wonderful, warm-hearted people and setting up the Captain David Seath Memorial Fund has provided a solid foundation for rebuilding my life.
I have used this particular picture because I remember walking with David’s battery from 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery so vividly. If I am being honest, I felt at peace for the first time since David’s tragic passing during that twenty minute walk and it was then I decided to utilize what I had learned in the charity sector to ensure the incredible amounts of money being donated were put to use right away through The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund.
Before I talk about what The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund has achieved so far, I wish to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who has donated money, organised, attended or participated in fundraising events in support of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund throughout this year, without your support there would be no legacy. I am also delighted that this year we continue to support so many inspirational individuals, community groups and businesses who are ensuring David’s legacy continues for as long as possible.
Moving on to David’s legacy…
I founded the Captain David Seath Memorial Fund in May 2016 which has, to date, provided over one-hundred and sixty-five financial grants to wounded, injured and sick personnel and veterans in partnership with Help for Heroes. The funds raised are distributed through Help for Heroes’ Quick Reaction Fund, which means the financial grants can be made available within 72 hours to successful applicants.
Our primary focus is to support those who have experienced considerable physical and psychological trauma in service of their country and, based on the kind words received from several beneficiaries, our work is making a huge difference in rebuilding their lives. The financial grants have been used by beneficiaries to purchase specialist rehabilitation equipment, enable respite breaks and PTSD therapy as well as facilitate supported employment placements and the setting up of businesses.
We have organised a number of fundraising events for this year, which includes a 5K memorial run/walk event in April, our inaugural golf day at Fairmont St Andrews in August and our highly popular pub quiz will return in November.
In addition to fundraising, I have established two further pillars to David’s legacy, which are CPR instruction and remembrance.
Having gone through the process of having my heart tested recently and researching the topic, I was astounded to read that twelve young people die on a weekly basis, as a result of undiagnosed heart problems, and that 30,000 people will experience a cardiac arrest in their communities on an annual basis in the UK. A cardiac arrest can take place anywhere and at any time and I hope that this pillar of David’s legacy can provide the skills and confidence to save lives in the future. Therefore, we have established a partnership with British Heart Foundation Scotland to deliver a free CPR Instruction Evening in June.
Several items of interest, from David’s tour of Afghanistan (Operation Herrick 16), will be exhibited at the Military Museum Scotland (MMS) in West Lothian later this year. I am very much looking forward to handing the exhibit over to Ian Inglis, Founder and Curator at MMS, and will share further detail about this project in a later blog. We are also working hard behind the scenes with regards to installing a permanent memorial to David in the Heroes Garden in Dunfermline later this year. Once again, further information will be shared through our blog as the project progresses.
Once again, I wish to thank everyone for your incredible support.
Gary Seath – Founder, The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund