A former soldier got on his bike to launch a new campaign ensuring funding is available for veterans to improve their mental health by doing sport.
Royston Brett, from Golborne, pedalled from his home to London and then joined a 55-mile ride from the capital out to Windsor as part of his latest fund-raising effort to help ex-servicemen and women.
Royston will divide the proceeds from his ride between his new campaign to get veterans fit and active and crime prevention charity Khulisa which seeks to get people in difficulties out of the justice system and cut re-offending rates.
Royston, of Willow Grove, says his latest project is an extremely personal one, saying he has found cycling extremely helpful to deal with some of the things he himself experienced on the front line.
Royston, 44, told how he had overcome several personal problems since leaving the Forces.
“I’ve had problems myself from my time in the Army and if I’m struggling, have had a bad night or feel really frustrated all day I will go out on my bike and forget what I was worried or scared about,” he said. “It works for me and other people have said they have things they do to help them. Usually it means going out cycling, walking or doing some sort of exercise.
“It’s a proven fact that getting into sport or exercise can improve mental health, so now I want to get this campaign on the road and popularise it.
“If I can get the attention of MPs who could get some funding for it that would be great.
“I particularly want to show veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder that it is possible to live a life with the condition, do things and get into sport.”
Royston hopes to gain political approval for his scheme and possibly get a grant system set up so veterans can apply to purchase equipment they need to pursue the sport or activity of their choice.
He got in the saddle to get the idea up and running with a gruelling overnight pedal from the borough to London before joining Khulisa’s chief executive for the London to Windsor bike ride on Sunday September 4. His efforts will also help Khulisa, where he previously worked as a volunteer, continue its work steering vulnerable young people on the brink of anti-social behaviour and crime onto better paths and reducing violent behaviour. Anyone interested in supporting Royston’s project to get veterans into sport should email him at firstname.lastname@example.org