Sporting Force has said a huge ‘thank-you’ to the Veterans’ Foundation following a recent grant.
The charity was set up in 2015 by Tommy Lowther, who served in 1st Battalion Light Infantry and uses the power of sport to help rehabilitate veterans.
Its mission is simple – to support those who have served in any of the branches of the Armed Forces, emergency services and their families who are having difficulties after service.
Tommy was forced to leave the Army following mental health issues brought on by a serious sexual assault while serving in Gibraltar.
In the wake of the attack, his condition worsened, culminating in suicide attempts and a complete breakdown in 2014. From the lowest of points, the idea for Sporting Force was born.
“At the time I was in a really, really bad place,” said Tommy. “I just wanted to help stop other people from experiencing what I’d gone through.
“I’ve got a real passion for helping people and seeing someone do well off the back of something we’ve helped with. There’s no better feeling.”
Sporting Force works predominantly with football foundations and community trusts in 92 league clubs. It looks to harness the power of our national game and sport of any type to assist our ex-servicemen and women and help them adjust to civilian life.
It creates opportunities for those individuals who might not otherwise engage and offers placements within clubs in sectors such as retail, hospitality, admin, catering, ticketing and groundskeeping.
“The big thing when you’re in the military is being part of a team, being part of that cap badge,” continued Tommy. “Giving people their identity back is crucial and it’s why sport works so well.
“I know when I had my breakdown, when I was ill, my wife was a big, big part of my recovery so we now recognise that in the charity and we help both veterans and their families.
“Recently I got a letter that came from a little girl whose father we’d helped and it said: ‘Tommy, thank you for giving me my Dad back.’”
“That’s why we do what we do.”
Tommy is quick to acknowledge the importance of the Veterans’ Foundation and the grant awards it provides in enabling Sporting Force to continue its work.
“We couldn’t do what we do without the likes of the Veterans’ Foundation. They give us grants to be able to go and do activities where we take the guys away.
“To put veterans and their families in these situations, it costs money. It’s a simple as that. And we couldn’t do it without the generosity of the likes of the VF.
“To all those people who play Veterans’ Lottery, we offer a huge thank you. Your support really does make a difference.”
Please consider joining the Veterans' Lottery today.