Ex-Paratrooper has set himself two tough challenges

Published on 29 April 2019

Ex-Paratrooper has set himself two tough challenges

A former paratrooper has set himself two tough challenges to help #PhoenixHeroes - a veterans' charity offering #PTSD support.

Andy Minshull, a former soldier from Leeds said he could cope with serving in Iraq and Afghanistan but turned to alcohol in civilian life. He has since recovered and now set himself two tough challenges to help Phoenix Heroes CIC.

Andy intends to sleep rough on the streets of Leeds for 36 hours to raise awareness of the problem of homelessness among ex-military personnel.

Along with 13 other veterans' he is then set to tackle the Commando Raid Super Six challenge and cover 102 km going up and down the six well known routes of Mount Snowdon in Wales in under 24hrs on June 1.

The group of veterans, who call themselves the Kinsmen Regiment, will be raising funds for Phoenix Heroes - a charity which offers post traumatic stress disorder support for veterans.

Andy, 38, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he found it difficult coping with normal life back home after living on the edge in war zones.

He suffered drink problems and said he no longer drinks after spending a month in rehab at the end of last year.

Andy, who served in the army for 16 years before he was medically discharged due to noise induced hearing loss aged 30, now works as a general nurse at a West Yorkshire psychiatric hospital.

The ex-soldier, who served in 1st Batallion Parachute Regiment and later Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps, said: "My problem is dealing with life as a civilian. When I went out to Iraq and Afghanistan I was fine. I struggled with normal life in the UK when I came back.

I think it's because you are always on the edge out there, but at the same time you have got this band of brothers around you.

It's a different world and then you come back to normal life where people are in pubs and going out shopping and it's difficult to make sense of it when you have been in that environment.

"It's difficult to adjust back into that life. I actually preferred being on operations."

Andy then said: "I want to give something back and help other veterans in the same situation as me who are dealing with problems associated with military service.

I consider myself lucky that I have got a good family and friends network. Some people don't have that when they come out of the military."

You can contribute towards Andy's fundraising efforts via 'TheKinsmenRegiment' at 'Just Giving' or join the #VeteransRaffle#lottery now and select #PhoenixHeroes as your preferred good cause. ENTER RAFFLE

Extract from Yorkshire Evening Post

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