Mental health service helps honour Sunderland veterans ahead of Remembrance Day

WW1 Centenary event at Impact North East with Veterans in Crisis. Front, Veterans in Crisis Chris Batty and Impact's Sharon Boyd
WW1 Centenary event at Impact North East with Veterans in Crisis. Front, Veterans in Crisis Chris Batty and Impact's Sharon Boyd

A mental health charity and a veterans organisation have joined forces to educate more people on those who have bravely served their country.

Recently Sunderland-based Impact North East were awarded six sitting silhouettes as apart of a national campaign to remember the those who died during the First World War.

WW1 Centenary event at Impact North East with Veterans in Crisis.

WW1 Centenary event at Impact North East with Veterans in Crisis.

They were awarded through the Military Covenant Funding Scheme.

The project was to educate all generations, particularly today’s younger generation, to understand what led to the deaths of 888,246 people from Britain and The Commonwealth.

Not forgetting paying tribute to help heal those suffering from the hidden wounds of post-traumatic stress disorder and other lasting legacies of combat, Impact staff decided that they wanted to hold a coffee morning and present family Military Histories from Sunderland families.

A partnership was then created with Veterans in Crisis, enabling Impact to pay tribute to living veterans.

The silhouettes to remember servicemen who fought in the First World War.

The silhouettes to remember servicemen who fought in the First World War.

The staff at Impact researched family histories from members of the community and presented their family military history on the day for them.

Chief executive at Impact Sharon Boyd said: “Whilst we are a mental health organisation, we wanted to take part in this project as all of our staff have a military history connection in some way and we wanted to get involved.

“We are also Military Covenant members and moving towards our silver award.

“As an individual, family history is a big part of my life and I had a lot of information around military veterans from the Great War and thought it would be a great idea to produce this on a bigger scale including other family histories.

“A part of the project brief was around supporting current veterans so I contacted Ger Fowler at Veterans in Crisis.

“We decided that a joint project would be a great idea and then living veterans and members of his group gave me details to trace their families and any War heroes that may have.”

The veteran’s histories and silhouettes are now going to be displayed as apart of a commemorative event at Sunderland Winter Gardens.

Also some of the silhouettes went over to support the Parker Trust event.

On the day, deputy mayor of Sunderland Councillor David Snowdon opened the event, followed by a standalone bugler who played the last post along with the Royal British Legions standards.

The event was attended by Darren Rhodes, the regional employment officer for the North East Military of Defence, with former Sunderland captain Kevin Ball also going along.

A total of 75 children and families who took part in the coffee morning with crafts for children and memory boards for attendees to remember their family members whom they want to pay tributes to.