Caped crusaders to fundraise for Colchester Help for Heroes recovery centre

John Worland meets Ryan Lewis

John Worland meets Ryan Lewis - Credit: Archant

Capes are a must-have accessory at a dinner event being held to raise funds for a veterans’ charity.

Colchester businessman John Worland is organising the dinner and dance evening in support of Help for Heroes.

The retired Essex Police officer was inspired to help the charity after meeting veterans it supports at the Chavasse VC House Recovery Centre in Colchester.

Among those he was introduced to was Ryan Lewis, who shared his story about struggling to overcome chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) since leaving his regiment several years ago.

Ryan, a father of four, talked about the stigma attached to mental health issues and how with the support of Help for Heroes’ psychological well-being programme, he is now beginning to take back control of his life.

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He said: “Several years ago my PTSD was so bad I was hospitalised.

“Walking into the Recovery Centre was one of the best things I have ever done.

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“Help for Heroes has supported me and my family in so many ways – through practical help and signposting to specialist partner organisations, and with activities such as Hero Ride, the 100 mile bike challenge I completed in June.”

Moved by Ryan’s and other veterans’ stories Mr Worland has decided to organise a superheroes dinner and dance evening at the Essex Golf and Country Club, Earls Colne

Mr Worland said: “Hearing Ryan speak so openly about his struggles brings it home how much he and many other veterans and their families still need the support that Help for Heroes offers.

“These men and women need support for many years to come so I’m determined to do what I can.”

As well as a three-course dinner there will be an auction and raffle to boost the funds.

People can come as any superhero, whether from a comic book or a historical hero.

So who will Mr Worland be dressing up as? “You’ll have to book your ticket and find out on the night,” he said.

The event takes place on Friday November 6. Tickets are £70 per head with all profits going to Help for Heroes.

To book tickets email and you can keep up-to-date with all the information by liking ColchesterHelpforHeroes on Facebook.

Mr Worland is also keen to hear from any businesses and individuals who are willing to donate raffle and auction prizes.

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