Castle2Cosford: Chris’ 300-Mile Walk for Two Trauma Charities
Former police officer, Chris Devney from Worcestershire, prepares to walk more than 300 miles in just 13 days to raise vital funds in aid of PTSD UK and Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, while also raising awareness of the air ambulance’s motorbike event, Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival on 24th April.
Starting on Tuesday 12th April 2022 at 5am from Edinburgh Castle, near to PTSD UK’s headquarters, Chris will walk more than 300 miles over 13 days to the home of the Bike4Life Festival and one of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s airbases at RAF Cosford.
During his time as a police officer stationed in Telford, Shropshire, Chris attended many road traffic collisions, many involving motorcyclists, which meant he often crossed paths and worked alongside the lifesaving aircrew of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.
In 2010, Chris, now aged 59 and living in Worcestershire, was sadly involved in his own road traffic collision whilst riding his motorbike, which Midlands Air Ambulance Charity attended. The lifesaving service responds to a motorcyclist more than once a week on average. Due to the nature of these traumatic incidents, the charity hosts its Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival, with event sponsor, RAC, and in collaboration with West Mercia Police. The event, which takes place on Sunday 24th April at RAF Cosford, aims to highlight riding safely as well as giving supportive bikers a great day out.
Chris is passionate about giving back to the charity that rapidly responded to him in his time of critical need and has already undertaken two previous mammoth walking challenges to support Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and raised more than £7,000.
In addition to raising awareness and funds for the pre-hospital emergency service, Chris is also supporting another charity close to his heart – PTSD UK, the only charity in the UK dedicated to raising awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD UK’s head office is based in Edinburgh and this gave Chris his idea for the Castle2Cosford event, a challenge that would allow him to raise funds for both causes.
Chris commented on the forthcoming walk: “Castle2Cosford will give me the opportunity to raise both awareness and much needed funds for two amazing charities. Midlands Air Ambulance Charity provides time critical, advanced care to all communities across the six counties it serves. Plus, as a keen motorcycle fan, I want to raise awareness of Bike4Life and encourage bikers to sign up to this not to be missed day out.
“I also want to raise awareness of PTSD. Anyone can suffer post event, be they the patient, their families or even the emergency service crews like those on-board Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s aircraft and critical care cars. PTSD UK provides education and information on the symptoms, causes and treatments available, no matter the initial trauma.”
Hanna Sebright, chief executive for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, added: “Chris is an amazing individual who is a committed volunteer and dedicated supporter of our pre-hospital emergency service. I had the pleasure of joining Chris for part of his 2021 walk and could see first-hand the passion he has for supporting deserving causes. He is once again taking on a momentous challenge to support PTSD UK and to help make more of our future lifesaving missions possible, for which we are truly grateful.
“With no Government funding for our daily lifesaving missions, we’re extremely thankful to have people like Chris who continue to go above and beyond for our charity, to help us raise the funds we need to keep saving lives.”
Jacqui Suttie, founder and CEO of PTSD UK said: “We are truly humbled by the challenge that Chris is undertaking to support us and Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.
“We are looking forward to joining him at the beginning of his walk at Edinburgh Castle and to follow his journey all the way down to the crew at RAF Cosford – we know it will be an epic journey which will raise awareness and funds for both charities, and we’re incredibly grateful for this support.”
To support Chris on his journey from Edinburgh Castle to RAF Cosford, you can make a donation via his GoFundMe page: gofundme.com/castle2cosford
You can also track Chris’s planned Castle to Cosford route, and find out further information about the challenge by visiting Facebook.com/Castle2Cosford
To purchase tickets for the Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival, visit www.bike4lifefest.com
To find out more about the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, visit midlandsairambulance.com and follow the organisation on social media.
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It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help. For some, the first step may be watchful waiting, then exploring therapeutic options such as individual or group therapy – but the main treatment options in the UK are psychological treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting and understanding your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. You can find out more in the links below, or here.