Artistic designs created by the wife of a Fife Army veteran are to be included in a forces charity’s Christmas fundraising campaign.
Julie Martin-Davy from Glenrothes has had her artwork chosen by Help For Heroes, which supports injured military personnel and their families.
It will be used for a t-shirt design and a Christmas card which will be included in the charity’s festive fundraising catalogue.
The 41-year-old, who is her husband Mark’s carer when she isn’t working as a retail supervisor, has long held a love of art.
Julie studied graphic design at Fife College and had planned to go on to degree level when she married Mark. However, the life of a military wife, which involved moving to wherever he was stationed made it difficult to continue her education.
Mark was injured in 2009 on a training exercise while serving with the Signal Regiment. He suffered lower spinal damage which resulted in him being in constant pain and needing to use a wheelchair, which has also impacted on his mental health.
The couple found support from Help for Heroes in 2014 when Mark was discharged from the Army and began visiting the charity’s Northern Recovery Centre in Catterick in 2017 for respite weekends.
He was able to meet fellow veterans and take up new hobbies, giving him a greater sense of independence while Julie found support through the Band of Sisters fellowship.
It was after visiting the recovery centre’s art room that Julie began to reconnect with her love of art.
The opportunity to design a Christmas card for the charity in 2017 gave her confidence to use her talents again and she was selected to exhibit in the charity’s Creative Force exhibitions in London in 2018 and in Edinburgh and Fife in 2019.
And, she said, art had helped her get through some of the particularly stressful times in recent years.
“Life was pretty tough before we got support from Help for Heroes,” said Julie.
“I was juggling a full-time job, a home and caring for Mark, both physically and mentally. It was slowly wearing me down and I think without support it would have broken me.
“When I am doing art, I focus on the paper in front of me and I am distracted from my worries. It helps relax me and gives me much needed ‘me time’.”
She added: “I have created my own creative space at home as my little sanctuary to paint and be creative.
“I am delighted to have my designs chosen to help raise funds for other injured veterans like Mark.”
To find out more about Julie’s designs go to www.shop.helpforheroes.org.uk