An Angus RAF veteran completed a 24-hour weekend gaming marathon in the latest stage of his support for the charity which he has said saved his life.
Matt Neve live streamed the computer gaming and guitar-playing feat and was joined by console fanatics in the Help for Heroes fundraising effort.
The 35-year-old, who is originally from Brechin, lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – the result of his role in Iraq which began as a driver when he was just a teenager but led to his career being cut short just a few years later following diagnosis of the condition.
His link to Help for Heroes saw the charity introduce Matt to archery, a hobby which he found helped him deal with his mental health struggles and uncovered a talent which brought a gold medal at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto.
During lockdown, Matt has also benefited from the camaraderie of sharing his experiences with other veterans through the charity’s fellowship network through online forums.
Although Matt now lives in Swansea, he regularly returns to Angus to visit family in Brechin and said becoming part of an online gaming community has helped reduce the social isolation to help him tackle the daily challenges of his condition.
“Without Help for Heroes I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “The Hidden Wounds service is there to help veterans and their loved ones deal with the mental health battles we face because of our experiences and injuries.
“They’ve supported my family and I though some dark times, and I’d encourage everyone to support Help for Heroes so that other people can get that support when they need it too.”
The gaming marathon included a soccer tournament and a range of other role play and race games.
Help for Heroes’ head of fundraising, David Martin said: “We are especially grateful to Matt and all those who have given their time to support us this year as, like all charities, our fundraising income has been hit and we need to raise essential funds to ensure we can keep supporting our wounded and sick veterans.”