No one helps military veterans like fellow veterans and the Coldstream based organisation set up by Vince Davidson has proved once again how far they will go to help.
Vince’s Veterans helping Veterans South East Scotland organisation reaches out to ex-service personnel who cannot be reached through official channels and once their trust has been gained and their situation understood they are then signposted to the organisation that can best help them.
This is done through talking and organising social events such as horse riding and residential trips where they go fishing, claypigeon shooting etc.
Earlier this year the group received a £9,720 Scottish Government grant from the Scottish Veterans Fund to carry on with the trips and friendship being offered to veterans. And his month a 40 mile sponsored walk and a static line skydive added to their coffers.
Nine walkers, including Coldstream residents Susan Cummings, Ali Melvin and Vince’s wife Fiona plus dog Luna, braved torrential rain and high winds to complete a 40 mile walk in nine hours.
That was followed last weekend by another nine volunteers - including Sonia Davidson and Vince’s daughter Leah both from Coldstream - taking part in a static line skydive.
“They spent eight hours training on the Saturday and a restless night for most,” said Vince.
“After arriving at Skydive Northwest at 8am our volunteers were kitted up, briefed and in the air by 9am. All landed safely, most happy and only one vowing never to jump from a plane again.
“Veterans helping Veterans would like to thank all who jumped for us as many were scared of heights or flying and we appreciate the risk they took for our veterans. Also a massive thank you goes to all who kindly gave sponsorship, you have each made a massive difference to Veterans across Scotland and we extend their thanks to you.”
Vince knows only too well how hard life can be for veterans - suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome after tours in Northern Ireland and the Gulf he became a recluse until Facebook contact with other war veterans made him realise he was not alone. The understanding he received from fellow veterans and the difference it made to his life inspired Vince to do more to help others and he does that now through Veterans for Veterans.
You can still donate to the skydive until December 11, via Paypal firstname.lastname@example.org.