VETERAN Graham Stobbs has embarked on an epic 322-mile solo fundraising kayak trip and is hoping to make a stop at Lyme Regis on the way.
Graham will be completing the solo kayaking trip with fellow veteran Marc Hutton supporting in a land vehicle.
He departed from Rye Harbour on August 19 and will cover 322 miles, including a Channel crossing, in just 11 days.
The team are raising money for the Veteran’s Hub Swindon, Walking with the Wounded and The Veterans Hub Weymouth, three charities dedicated to supporting the continued wellbeing of veterans.
During the 11 days Graham will complete a gruelling 10-plus hours of kayaking a day along the south coast and over to the French coast. On his Channel crossing he will be accompanied by support vessel ‘Full Throttle’.
During his trip and weather permitting, Graham will be stopping at Newhaven, Bognor Regis, Gosport, Bournemouth, Weymouth, Exmouth, Brixham and Lyme Regis.
He is paddling in an 18ft P&H Scorpio Sea Kayak, aiming to raise as much money as possible for the veterans’ causes that are close to his heart.
Graham is a passionate supporter of these charities having suffered with his own mental health problems and is taking on this challenge to help break the stigma around mental health and encourage veterans to open up, talk and ask for help.
As part of his treatment Graham is undergoing intense EMDR therapy with Cormac Doyle MBE of The Bridge Charity.
All funds raised will help veterans, with some of the money being donated to Graham’s own charity, The Veterans Hub Swindon with the aim of creating a permanent centre, offering much needed mental health support, wellbeing advice and guidance for serving personnel, veterans and their families, a dream that the team are working hard to make a reality.
Funds will also be donated to Walking with the Wounded and The Veterans Hub Weymouth, charities well known for supporting the mental health of veterans across the UK.
Before he left, Graham, 48, who has trained hard for the trip, commented: “I’m excited and nervous about the trip. The challenge will push the boundaries of my mental wellbeing, endurance and physical capability.
“Mental health and PTSD is a real challenge for veterans that commonly goes unrecognised for many years after service and the funds are desperately needed so I’m determined to do my bit to help those who have given so much for their country.
“This is also part of my own healing process and I hope to encourage others to reach out about their own difficulties and seek help like I did. I want to show there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
This is not the only way Graham supports veterans causes, he is also founder of Swindon’s Mfor Festival, a family fun day meets music festival – which supports veteran, military and mental health charities, including The Veterans Hub.