Ex-Royal Navy sailor from South Shields gives more than £2,000 to forces charity that helped his mental health recovery

An armed forces charity has been presented with over £2,000 thanks to a South Shields veteran and his epic motorhome adventure.

Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 2:06 pm

Andrew Marshall, a former Royal Navy aircraft engineer, set off on a 5,500-mile journey around the coast of Britain last autumn in a converted Ford Transit minibus called Roxy.

He used the journey to raise awareness and over £5,000 for community group NAAFI Break who support South Tyneside's ex-forces community, and SSFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association).

At South Tyneside’s Armed Forces Day in Bents Park on Sunday, June 19, Andrew presented a cheque for £2,200 to the Jeremy Feggetter chairman of the Tyne and Wear Branch of SSAFA.

Ex-soldier Andrew Marshall who travelled around the country's coast in aid f metal health and forces charities.

Both organisations helped him after he experienced significant mental health problems.

In 2018, Andrew was so low that he attempted to take his own life.

His anxiety had also become so bad he was unable to drive to support meetings less than a mile away.

That was why he bought and converted the Transit into a campervan so he could pull over and recover no matter where he was.

SSAFA's Jeremy Feggetter, right, receives a cheque from Andrew Marshall. Picture by Tim Richardson.

Andrew, 49, said NAAFI Break helped to give him some structure and a safe social environment with people who had experienced similar things. plus a place to It also gave him the confidence and opportunity to become a volunteer welfare officer.

And he said SSAFA helped his recovery immeasurably including with financial and housing problems.

Andrew said: “Their caseworker helped me secure housing as I was losing my home at that time, they also helped with furnishings, carpets and some initial bills and debts.”

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