We are pleased to announce a new fundraising ‘elite unit’ has been launched to help disabled ex-servicemen and women. Called Combined Veterans Football Club, the CVFC will raise much needed funds, some of it for Services charity Blesma, a charity that helps disabled ex-servicemen and women.

A newcomer to fundraising, but with big ambitions, CVFC is made up of ex-service men and women doing their bit for less fortunate ex-forces colleagues. They are already planning a season of matches, against some well-known national and international sides.

There is very much a gap at the grassroots of ex-servicemen’s and Armed Forces’ fundraising, where individuals have ‘slipped through the net’ and do not get the help they deserve. No blame, it’s just the way it is.

CVFC aims to plug that gap, and help where we can. Typical issues faced by our ex-servicemen and women are PTSD, and basic needs for kit such as new artificial limbs. As frequent as physical injuries is the mental damage, and we aim to fight isolation, and the feeling of not quite fitting in, something only too familiar to our combat veterans after years away from family and friends in war zones.

Key to our approach is the idea of working at the grassroots, with local heroes helping local heroes. The first of what we hope will be many local football matches is to take place at Banwell Stadium, Weston-Super-Mare, on Sunday 27th of June.

We want your help to promote this event via your paper or channel or station.

We want you to tell your friends. And we want you to come along on the day. Football, fun in the sun, music and more, all for a really great cause.

See you at the end of June, and do your bit for our ex-servicemen. For more info and tickets see our CVFC page on Facebook.

Photo of Scott Yarrington and his family courtesy of Blesma

Why CVFC was set up:

Men and women have been coming home from wars with severe wounds that would have proved fatal just a few decades ago. We owe it to those heroes to provide care for the wounds we can see ( the amputations and scars ) and the wounds we cannot see ( PTSD / isolation / mental health issues ).

Since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have seen a whole new generation of military amputees. For example, Blesma saw 339 new members join , including 97 double and 19 triple amputees, from both conflicts. One of them was Scott Yarrington. While serving with The Irish Guards, Scott was blown up by an I.E.D. while on patrol, and lost both his legs. With help from Blesma, he rebuilt his life, and is happily married, and still manages to play football with his son.

The Falklands War of 1982 saw the Armed Forces lose 255 personnel, six ships and 34 aircraft during the conflict to take back the British. As a result of that conflict, Blesma saw 32 new members

Some of Blesma’s oldest members are now in their nineties – and some have even had their card from The Queen. They were injured in World War Two, when statistically they were far less likely to survive a catastrophic injury such as a double amputation. It is estimated that over 475,000 British Service men were injured in that conflict, and that over 12,000 of them lost limbs.

We are determined to be there for them, raising funds, keeping company, and never forgetting what they did, saw, survived, and often live with to this day.

Please help us to help them, starting with CVFC’s launch match on June 27th. Thank you

Reader Comments (2)

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Michael Spear
1 Posted 14/05/2021 at 19:33:40
Weston-Super-Mare is probably out of range for most Evertonians but, as someone who benefited greatly from the work of Blesma, I would like to encourage everyone to give support to the CVFC matches if they are ever in your area.

At the age of 29, my dad Tommy lost both arms and a leg fighting with the Kings Regiment in Italy in 1944. By the time I came into the world in 1946, Blesma (the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen's Association as it was then known) had already started its wonderful support of him and the family (mum and my two brothers), which continued all the way through to his all-too-early passing in 1967.

It's tragic of course that their charitable work to support disabled ex-servicemen and women is still needed 77 years on, but heartwarming that so many are doing what they can to help the different generations of combat veterans. So let's hear it for CVFC and keep an eye open for their fixtures.

Danny O’Neill
2 Posted 16/05/2021 at 13:08:47
Thank you for raising awareness of this Chris. I will most certainly follow. BLESMA does great work and I am sure CVFC will continue in that vein.

My Grandfather served with the Inniskilling Fusiliers in Burma, my father done his 22 years and myself, 28 years. For my generation that incorporated Northern Ireland, the former Yugoslavia, the Middle East and Afghanistan. On my last tour of Afghanistan, 69 British service personnel lost their lives in 6 months. The full statistics were never released but it is estimated you times that figure by 4 to get an understanding of how many returned with life changing injuries. And then there is PTSD on top of that.

Very worthy cause and close to the heart. Thank you again.

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