Flight Sergeant Simon Lunn has created the 12K’s of Christmas Challenge to raise funds for Combat Stress.
Twelve RAF stations including RAF Boulmer will each be represented by a team of 12 personnel completing a run of 12km every day for 12 days.
Flt Sgt Lunn came up with the challenge, which started on December 1, after battling with mental health issues himself.
During a stay in hospital, he met a veteran who also had mental health problems and didn’t know who to turn to for help.
Flt Sgt Lunn later found out about Combat Stress and decided to come up with a way to raise awareness of the charity that is now close to his heart.
He said: “I originally came up with the concept after recovering from my own mental health problems. I became acquainted with a veteran who described to me how much of a hard time he had with is mental health since leaving the service. He was in and out of hospital regularly and had no support outside of this.
“I am embarrassed to admit that, at the time, I was not aware of Combat Stress and the incredible support they provide. It lives with me every day that if I had known I could have signposted him towards the charity.
“I wanted to do something to make it right. If I could just raise awareness to help one person I would have made amends. So, I created the concept of ‘12Ks of Christmas’ to maximise exposure of the charity, and use this gruelling endurance challenge to represent what veteran with mental health problems face each and every day.”
Robert Marsh, director of fundraising at Combat Stress, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Flt Sgt Lunn for initiating this endurance challenge, and to all the RAF personnel for rising to the challenge in aid of veterans struggling with complex mental health problems.
“The money raised will ensure that veterans who turn to Combat Stress continue to get the specialist support they need.”