21st February 2019 - The Launch
Join former SAS Officer Major Ken Hames MBE, local farmer/former soldier Brian Capstick, and Cumbria and Yorkshire Dales Shepherdess Alison O’Neill at the launch event of the 80-mile Dales Way Ladies Yomp 2019.
The challenging five day Yomp will take place 8th to 12th June. Up to 200 veteran’s wives and partners will be taking part as they aim to raise awareness of the impact on families when soldiers return from war with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and other psychological and social issues.
With 79 recorded veteran suicides in 2018, over 4,000 veterans in prison in England & Wales, 10% of the UK homeless population and approx. 1,200 veteran rough sleepers, it’s important to raise awareness of all the different ways individuals and businesses can help and make a longer-term difference to those former serving soldiers who have returned to challenging civilian circumstances.
On the 21st February a special event will launch the Ladies’ Yomp and will welcome Ken Hames, Brian Capstick and Alison O’Neill. Attendees will hear first-hand about the challenges a number of our soldiers and modern-day war veterans face on their return to civilian life. Cumbrian businesswoman Sue Howorth, who will co-host the evening, said “I am honoured to be co-hosting the evening, the yomp is an incredible project which I hope will highlight the very real challenges that the families and returning soldiers face.”
Ken Hames will provide an insight into returning with the Royal Marines from the Falklands War in 1982, life in the SAS for 16 years, commanding Special Forces worldwide, and the inspiration given to him by Princess Diana to help in the charitable sector. Ken will bring us up to date with his work as a patron of Help for Heroes and COO of the Community Self Build Agency, supporting wounded, disadvantaged and vulnerable veterans to transition to independent living and back into employment.
Brian Capstick will explain how his experiences in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan led him to develop a Care Farming operation on his farms in Sedbergh, specifically to support socially excluded veterans and their families with psychological illnesses. Brian will also talk about the work of the Community Self Build Agency in Greater Manchester over the next five years.
In the second half of the evening, Alison O’Neill will talk about how she has utilised her love of walking and guiding to support Brian’s Self Build program and how it has inspired her to organise and run the Ladies Yomp 2019 to support the wives, partners and families of those living with the psychological scars of war.
Brian explained more about the Ladies’ Yomp idea “If we are going to tackle and counter domestic violence, divorce rates and the spiral into social exclusion amongst the veteran community, the front line is often the family home. Alison understands the need to get support to those that are fighting that battle which is how she developed the concept after taking part in an event that supported veterans called ‘Hell’s Fells’ in 2018. From this, she has nurtured the inspirational and clever idea of the Ladies’ Yomp.”
Alison said “Having been involved last year with Hell’s Fells, there was one lady’s story that particularly touched me. The walk we shared made a huge difference to her personally so it felt a very natural suggestion to create an event that could help more women and would help raise awareness.”
Special guests will include veterans and their families who will share their stories and experiences about living with PTSD. We will also be sharing details of how you can sign up to the ladies yomp.
The evening will be hosted by Cumbrian businesswoman Sue Howorth and Dave Clarkson of Langleys Solicitors. Thanks go to headline sponsor Tony Keen of SN Group and supporting sponsor Enterprise Answers.
Venue: J36 Rural Auction Centre, Crooklands, Milnthorpe, Cumbria LA7 7FP