It is with great pleasure that Veterans In Action would like to announce a new Patron, Charlie Martell for the charity who was the first person who supported us by getting VIA a grant for £5,000 from GIVE THEM A SPORTING CHANCE.
To highlight how important this grant was, it allowed us to undertake our first long distance walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End with 12 veterans suffering from PTSD. Without the grant we could not have achieved this and since then 280 veterans have taken part on our walks and over 600 veterans we have helped.
Without Charlie and GIVE THEM A SPORTING CHANCE, VIA would probably not be where it is helping those who are in need of help so on a personal level I am proud to have Charlie as our Patron. Billy MacLeod
Ever since he had been a schoolboy during the Falklands Conflict, Charlie always knew that he wanted to be in the Army. Fast forward a few years and he joined the Corps of the Royal Engineers and specialised as a Commando, a diver and bomb disposal.
Charlie served in the first Gulf War, Southern Turkey, Northern Iraq, Bosnia and Northern Ireland. 10 years of regular service eventually led him to a post-Army career in the humanitarian sector, where he specialised in post-conflict resolution.
Working in mine affected countries such as Cambodia, Angola, Mozambique and the Republic of Georgia. Charlie’s eyes were opened to what he could do for communities living amongst mines, bombs and other debris of war.
Some years later, Charlie joined the Army again and currently serves as an Operations Officer in the Reserve Airborne Engineer Squadron.
In an effort to raise funds for a number of charities, Charlie created ‘Team Commando-Joe’ and he led the Team and completed the 2005 Polar Challenge. In 2006 ‘Team HESCO powered by Commando-Joe rowed from New York to Cornwall, raising more than £250,000 for charity and earning the crew two Guinness World Records in the process.
In 2012 Charlie attempted to row solo and unsupported from Japan to the USA but his voyage was brought to a premature end thanks to Typhoon Mawar. He’s now planning on returning to the Pacific in 2018 to try this challenge once again.
Charlie continues to raise funds for Veterans In Action (VIA), Give Them a Sporting Chance (GTaSC) and Talking 2 Minds (T2M). He is a Fellow of the Geographic Society and has an MA in Post-Conflict Recovery.
In 2015, Charlie took over as Chairman of Give Them a Sporting Chance.