“I wanted to give back to the Charity that has enabled me to live!” - Nick Steele.
Broadcaster Nick Steele feared for his life while embedded with British troops during the Iraq war. Despite being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Nick was unable to find the help he needed – until he reached out to us.
With your help, our support and a lot of courage on his part, Nick has fought his way back to health and is looking to the future. Here he explains why writing a Will was so important to him and why he decided to leave a legacy for others who will need help in the future.
As a presenter with the British Forces Broadcasting Service, Nick Steele has toured alongside the British Military in Kosovo, Bosnia, Cyprus, Belize, Canada, Germany, Gibraltar, the Falklands, Northern Ireland and Iraq.
It was while in Iraq and returning from a task that Nick and his escort were caught in an ambush and pinned down by enemy fire.
“All hell broke loose.” Nick remembers. “I had nothing to protect myself as I was out there with only a microphone.”
Once home, Nick struggled to cope and reached a very dark place. Fast forward 15 years from that first diagnosis and life events continue to throw up challenges.
“I started doubting my ability to be a good father, a good role model. I couldn’t leave the house to do 'normal' activities - like shopping or taking my daughter to the park.”
As a civilian, Nick struggled to get treatment. But then he learnt we help those who’ve deployed alongside British forces and he reached out for support. Since then Nick’s benefited from a number of our services, ranging from mental health support to sport to creative writing.
“I sometimes still feel worthless, guilty, and a burden. But thanks to Help for Heroes, the better days are outweighing the bad days.
“I’ve recently managed to take my little lifesaver, my daughter Lily, away for a few days. This was the first time since she was born that we’ve been away without my wife Steph there to continually remind me that it’s going to be okay. That was a big milestone.
“For the first time in a long time, I can imagine how my life will be in a few years’ time. Instead of thinking 'if I live to 40' I say 'When I turn 40, 50, or 60'. I now feel I have a sense of purpose. I feel I have a future.”
“Without Help for Heroes, I wouldn't be here. Now I want others to receive the same care in the future.” - Nick Steele.
Not only have we helped Nick learn to manage his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, we’ve also helped him achieve peace of mind by providing for the people and causes he loves.
"Writing a Will was a daunting task and one that I thought would be overly complicated; but it was something I’ve wanted to do since my daughter was born.
"As part of my PTSD I always think the worst is going to happen, so I wanted to get organised. When I heard the charity is part of the National Free Wills Network, I jumped at the chance.
“I emailed Beth in the legacy team, heard back almost instantly and was sent a handy guide explaining what I would need to think about. I was then sent the details of the nearest Network Solicitors.
"Rather hesitantly, I called one of the contacts on the list and explained that my wife and I wanted to use the National Free Wills Network, and an appointment was made.
“When the day came I was really worried about what they'd ask me, and if they’d question my mental health. But there was no need to panic: the solicitor was really helpful and the whole process was over within 20 minutes. It was a weight off my mind.
“As this is the only charity who’ve supported me, I decided to repay their kindness with a gift in my Will. I want to help them continue supporting others as they have supported me, when I felt I had nothing left to give.
“Without Help for Heroes, I wouldn't be here. Now I want others to receive the same care in the future.”
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