THIS year saw the launch of Forces Sauces with every bottle of Corporal Ketchup and Brigadier Brown donating at least 6p towards supporting beneficiaries of The Royal British Legion and Stoll.
The money continues to help hundreds of people turn around their lives by encouraging, caring and supporting ex-Servicemen to build a new life for themselves and to re-connect with the outside world.
The following veterans have willingly shared their stories about the ordeal they each experienced during difficult times, and how both The Royal British Legion and Stoll have provided support to give them a second chance in life…
Ian Camps served in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, 3rd Battalion. After his service, he became homeless.He had undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder before being referred to Combat Stress. He was then introduced to an outreach worker from Stoll.
Ian explained: “I was like a boat without a sail and rudder at the mercy of the sea, wind and tide and Tim, my outreach worker from Stoll, became my sail.
“After all the help and support I received from Stoll I wanted to give something back. I started volunteering at The Beef Kitchen, founded by Bob Barrett to sell homemade British food with all profits donated to Stoll. I found the opportunity to be a great success and now I am a full-time paid employee.”
Ian was housed by Stoll and has received on-going support. He credits the charity for his new found motivation and zest for life.
Michael Crossan served in the Royal Highland Fusiliers (Scottish Division) in Berlin and Great Britain for three years after which he travelled extensively, living in Greece for five years. On his return to the UK, Michael worked in pubs, and alcoholism took control over his life.
He became homeless for a couple of years until he was resettled, firstly in Belvedere House and then in his own flat in Stoll. Since then, according to Michael it has been onwards and upwards.
Michael has now found a passion in art and is into the second year of his photography course at college. He has exhibited his artwork in six exhibitions to date and has sold a number of pieces. With his artwork developing, there remains to be more exciting news for the artist which will be revealed next year in 2014.
Michael is now reconnecting with his four brothers, with whom he had lost contact for over 20 years. He’s extremely proud and happy of his success and has been sober for almost two years.