Captain David Seath Memorial Fund beneficiary Ben Norfolk shares his story

Ben NorfolkCaptain David Seath Memorial Fund beneficiary, Ben Norfolk, has very kindly provided permission to share his recent letter of thanks with us, having received financial support to complete a welding training course as part of his recovery pathway.

Ben said:

“I was involved in an incident at Camp Bastion in 2008 during my time as a Chinook Engineer & I saw on a few occasions the effects of conflict. This slowly took its toll on me and in 2012 I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD, Anxiety and Depression.

“As my condition developed & my mental health deteriorated, I lost all confidence and self esteem. For over two years during my treatment, I felt lost & like I had no direction or purpose. During this time I completely stripped my race mini back down to component parts, mirroring how I saw my life going.

“After a few shall we call ‘life defining moments’ and a stay in hospital, I started to recover & began to rebuild my mini, finding a new enjoyment in the welding jobs I needed to do. Concentrating on keeping that tiny little pool of molten aluminium moving with the torch in one hand, feeding in filler wire with the other hand and controlling the amount of current with a foot pedal is a real test of co-ordination, but the results can be fantastic and give me a sense of achievement in something again.

“To complete the training course has been invaluable in allowing me to gain the knowledge to set up the welding machine how I need it, rather than through trial and error. I am currently doing some work for a Vintage Bentley restorer, so ‘Right First Time’ is definitely necessary!

“I am also involved with (H4H supported) Mission Motorsport – the Forces charity that uses motorsport to engage wounded/injured/sick military personnel in activities that assist recovery & retraining. They have supported me a great deal in recent years with practical help and guidance on my journey back to wherever my health will end up & introduced me to new friends in similar situations who just know how others feel – that acceptance has been key.

“Whilst this may not be exactly how you envisioned David’s legacy to be realised(!), I hope I have managed to portray a little of what it means to feel rediscover life and not feel like an outcast on the fringes of society, as poor mental health can make people sometimes feel.

“To deal with obstacles and not give in to adversity was something I’m sure David would have become accustomed to during his military career and for you to create such a legacy in his name shows you also have; the assistance you offered me has given me the opportunity to do the same.”

The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund has now raised over £273,000 and has supported over two-hundred and twenty beneficiaries rebuild their lives following life-changing physical and psychological wounds as a result of service in the British Armed Forces.

Beneficiaries have used the financial support provided as a means to purchase specialist rehabilitation and sports therapy equipment, enable respite breaks and PTSD therapies as well as facilitate supported employment placements, training courses and the setting up of businesses.

Help us ensure David’s legacy supporting more personnel and veterans living with life-changing physical and psychological wounds by donating in support of the Captain David Seath Memorial Fund.

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