2015_CHA_150 Registration Web Banner AW

Ilfracombe Rocks

Featuring some of the best in unsigned and independent bands, plus three tribute acts this is a three day musical extravaganza promoting fantastic live music while raising money for charity.


John Forster has a show twice a week on Rock Band Radio called Dr Johns Unsigned Rock Surgery. He is devoted to giving smaller or local bands some airtime and knows that a small, friendly music festival is the best place to gain some more heavy metal fans!

He has a close link with John Fowler Holiday Parks and is planning a bigger and better event on 4 November 2016 with indoor space for up to 1500 people. What could be better on a cold November weekend?

Ilfracombe 4

Through family members serving in the Armed Forces, he has seen what a struggle life can sometimes be after leaving the close knit community of the military and returning to your home town. Help for Heroes is a charity very close to his heart as he says "I feel we are trying to give something back to some great guys and girls for what they have done and are going to do for our country."

How about giving them a follow on Facebook?

Categories :

Showing your support at Christmas

There are a number of different ways you can get involved this Christmas

Help for Heroes
Stockings for Heroes
Every year, with your help, the H4H elves make hundreds of Christmas stockings for our heroes in hospital, Headley Court and the five Recovery Centres around the country

Support Our Soldiers
SOS Christmas Appeal
Sending festive cheer to members of the British Armed Forces serving overseas this Christmas

QE Christmas Campaign
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity
This year, over 1,000 patients face the prospect of spending Christmas Day in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. We need your donations to help us bring Christmas to them.

If you’d like to send a Christmas card to our beneficiaries staying in our Recovery Centres, please send your seasons greetings to the relevant centre below:

Tidworth, Wiltshire
Please address to:
Philippa Haig
Tedworth House

Colchester, Essex
Please address to:
Abbie Griggs
Chavasse VC House
Berechurch Road

Plymouth, Devon
Please address to:
Shirley Gray
Naval Service Recovery Centre
Endeavour Building
HMS Drake, HM Naval Base Devonport

Catterick, North Yorkshire
Please address to:
Lucy Wray
Phoenix House Recovery Centre
Richmond Road
Catterick Garrison
North Yorkshire

Christmas Pic

The Effects of Too Much Alcohol

Keep an eye on these symptoms if you drink regularly and, if any start to seem familiar, it may be worth chatting to Hidden Wounds to make sure your relationship with alcohol stays healthy.



  • Increased worrying and unhelpful thoughts
  • Confusion
  • Memory and concentration difficulties
  • Thoughts of jealousy, suspicion or even paranoia

Physical feelings

  • A hangover: dehydration, vomiting or nausea and headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Withdrawal symptoms if you stop including: shaking and sweating, nausea and restlessness
  • Weight increase or loss
  • Alcohol is toxic to all the main organs and body systems, which can cause many health problems from ulcers to cancer


  • Being more argumentative, abusive or violent
  • Spending money  you may not have on alcohol
  • At work: missing deadlines, lateness, sickness and absence
  • More risk-taking leading to accidents
  • Becoming more avoidant or indifferent to things around you
  • Becoming secretive about the amount you are drinking


  • Increases the likelihood of experiencing depression or anxiety
  • Leads to feeling irritable or angry


If you’re worried about your drinking, Hidden Wounds can help. Contact the team today for free and confidential support.

Tel: 0808 2020 144 or click here and the team will get back to you.

Categories :

Launch of Help for Heroes XTREME, The Fragrance

We're excited to announce the launch of Help for Heroes XTREME, The Fragrance created by five members of Help for Heroes Band of Brothers to raise funds for their fellow wounded.

Available in store and online at Debenhams with £3 from every bottle sold donated to H4H, and also online from our H4H Shop.

Help For Heroes Xtreme Box  Flask Shot V HIGH RES

Veterans Steve McCulley, Dan Richards, Clive Smith, Corbin Mackin and Karl Hinett's mission was to create an assertive fragrance that the everyday man would want to wear time and time again, but which is ruggedly masculine and irresistible to the nose!

021O7341 021O7400

Steve, Dan, Clive, Corbin and Karl fully engaged with the creative process and quickly took ownership of their scent. Like true ‘noses’, they would not let go until they had the balance just right!  

The men chose a modern, yet timeless fragrance peppered with hot spice and rugged smoky woods diffused with amber and a touch of black leather. This masculine scent is topped with a fresh citrus herbal accord of lemon and basil reminding your hero of the wild outdoors. 

Robin Taylor, Managing Director of CorinCraft who produced the fragrance, said: “We are incredibly proud to be associated with Help for Heroes. We are in awe of the amazing work that they do to support British Servicemen and women injured in the line of duty. We hope that XTREME, the Fragrance will help raise further awareness and the sales will raise valuable funds to support this remarkable Charity.”

 The Hf H BOBs Group Shot

Read more about how Steve, Dan, Clive, Corbin and Karl created the fragrance.

Mark Dawson uses photography to help him deal with PTSD

For former Army combat medical technician Mark Dawson, looking through the camera lens is not just about taking the perfect photograph.

It also helps him to deal with some of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Taking a photograph keeps you grounded and in that moment,” the 32-year-old from Glossop, near Manchester, said. “When you are looking through the view finder and looking at the people in front of you, you are not looking at that picture in your mind.

Mark Dawson -3

“If you get an amazing photo, you are then on a high as you have achieved something that’s good instead of concentrating on the bad stuff.”

Mark Dawson trained as a photographer after he was medically discharged from the army in 2012 after a 12-year career. Through Help for Heroes, he received a £3,000 grant to buy the equipment he needed to set up his photography business.

His talents have been recognised by the charity as he has voluntarily worked on several photography projects for them.

“Help for Heroes has given me a platform to display my abilities,” he said. “Without their help, I would not be as accomplished as fast.”

Mark took part in a Help for Heroes-run dance photography course at Tedworth House Recovery Centre and even won the UK Highland Photographer of the Month for March 2015 for a photo he took during the workshop called Possessed. He also won the Daily Telegraph Big Picture photography competition in 2013 and 2014.

Mark Dawson -1

“Receiving the awards, there was a mixture of disbelief and sense of achievement. I was cynical about my abilities so for someone else to recognise what I do was a good feeling,” he said.

He was also commissioned to take a photograph for the BBC programme DIY SOS, which saw derelict houses in Manchester transformed into homes for veterans. He took a photo of a horse to hang above the bed of veteran John Borge, who also suffers from PTSD and was given a house on the street.

Mark, who is married to Natalie and has an 11-year-old daughter called Leah, joined the Army in 1999, serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He served with Three Army Corps at Wattisham and the Defence Diving School in Portsmouth. For the last two years of his career, he transferred to the Royal Army Veterinary Corps as a dog trainer. He was diagnosed with PTSD in 2010.

He said: “Being a medic, I had an awareness of what was happening but it came to a point where I had no choice but to go to a doctor. It was due to my experiences of being a combat medic and the things I saw.

“When I left the army, I felt I had no support and I was just dropped like a rock into Civvy Street. I fell through the net and was not put on the recovery and resettlement pathway,” he said. “For the best part of a year after leaving, I was just wondering what to do with my life and nobody was giving me any help.”

Mark then got in touch with Combat Stress and did a six week therapy course. While he was there he found out about Help for Heroes and the Band of Brothers network, which provides life-long support to those with a career limiting/ending injury or illness attributable to service.

Through Band of Brothers, Mark was able to go on the Help for Heroes Freedom Trail expedition in the Pyrenees and recently on a Sports Recovery surfing trip to California.

Mark Dawson -2

He said: “Operation Surf was very intense. I had never even surfed before but by the end I was managing to get myself up on the board with 10ft waves. It lights a fire in you and you have to react to it. You cannot just sit in your rut.”

Mark said the support he has received from Help for Heroes has helped him expand his career, which in turn has helped his mental health. Since launching the business, Mark has photographed weddings, commercial modelling, celebrity events and even Royalty.

He said: “Help for Heroes has given me financial support but it’s also being part of a bigger family. They have allowed me to volunteer for work on projects and that means my portfolio is supported by Help for Heroes and I have attended events I otherwise would not have done.”

Mark next hopes to take part in the Help for Heroes Pathfinder course, which helps wounded, injured and sick veterans find a new fulfilling future outside of the Armed Forces. It provides them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to launch a new career, as well as providing them with an industry mentor to turn to for advice.

“I’d like to do the course so I can see if I’m going in the right direction with my photography business and to get advice on how to make my career more sustainable,” he said.

He also teaches photography classes to other veterans and runs a Facebook group called Armed Forces and Veterans Photography for those who want to learn photography skills.

Bryn Parry, CEO and Co-founder of Help for Heroes says; “Help for Heroes is proud to be supporting Mark’s genuine talent which has given him a massive boost in skills and confidence. Mark’s accomplishments are huge and he is going from strength to strength.

The nearest Help for Heroes recovery centre to Manchester is Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

Anyone who served in the Army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines or Royal Air Force who needs the support of Help for Heroes Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick can self-refer by calling 01748 834148.