A team of Royal Marine veterans and ex-military personnel are preparing for a weighty world record attempt.
The group plans to break a weightlifting Guinness World Record by lifting the equivalent of four Angels of the North.
Many traumatised ex-military personnel are left to fend for themselves when they active service is overColin Kelly
Colin Kelly, an ex-Royal Marines Commando from Seaham, has organised the jaw-dropping task, which will take place next month.
The small team, which also includes two Sunderland men, Ryan Myers, a personal trainer and Royal Marines Reserve and Michael Kelly, a fitness coach, will carry out the challenge over 12 gruelling hours.
The 12 men and women will attempt to lift more than 800,000kg - that’s the equivalent of lifting four Angels of the North - and donations received on the day will be given to forces mental health charity, Rock 2 Recovery.
Colin, who is a member of the team, Lifting The Stress From Mental Health, found his experiences in operational theaters led to him suffering from debilitating mental health issues.
He was unable to find little effective support available before he discovered Devon-based charity, Rock 2 Recovery.
Now recovered, Colin, who has competed in many weightlifting and strongman competitions, is increasingly worried about the numbers of veterans, like himself, who suffer from mental health issues, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The suicide figures are high among ex-servicemen and women, with an average of one death every two weeks in the UK alone.
Colin, who works abroad in a security role, said: “It’s shocking how many of our veterans have problems with their mental health. There’s very little support available to them, and what support there is usually has long waiting times.
“Counselling services are sparse and centres where suffering veterans can go are few and far between.
“Having given the best of their lives to serving their country, many traumatised ex-military personnel are left to fend for themselves when their active service time is over.
“Rock 2 Recovery were simply brilliant when I needed them. They supported me as I worked through the issues I had and I got back on my own feet. That’s why I felt the need to give something back to them.”
The world record attempt will take place on November 4 at Performance Fitness Centre, Queens Court Business Centre, Carrmere Road, Sunderland, and Colin is urging as many people to go along and support them.