After the devastating news that husband and father Ryan Wynn had died, Royal British Legion stepped in to help. Now you can fundraise for them in the Leeds Poppy Walk
The Poppy Walk – a charity 10km walk organised by the Royal British Legion – will be taking to the streets of Leeds on Sunday June 17 and taking in the historic sights and hidden nooks and crannies of the city centre.
While traditionally recognised for the annual poppy appeal in November to remember our fallen heroes and support our veterans, the British Royal Legion does a mass of important work all-year round to support families within the Armed Forces community thanks to your efforts at charity events like this one.
The donations raised by the Poppy Walk Leeds will help fund vital services for families like the Wynns.
Chantelle (42), and her two daughters was left devastated when her husband Ryan, a medic in the Territorial Army reserves took his own life in 2015.
Being deaf in one ear, Ryan was unable to join the armed forces but was proud to serve in the TA while progressing in his career in medicine.
“Ryan used to be laid back, nothing fazed him and he absolutely loved being a family man, whether it was playing football with the girls or going out as a family, we always used to have fun,” said Chantelle.
Everything changed after a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2006. Ryan was eventually diagnosed with PTSD. “Year after year Ryan and I just learnt to cope with his diagnosis and he was put on antidepressants by his doctor,” she added. “However, there was no support after his tour and I think he felt alone as a reservist – he went out an individual and came back as an individual.”
In 2015, Ryan hit rock bottom and took his own life in the garage, leaving the family completed devastated and feeling like they had nowhere to turn.
“After Ryan passed it seemed that we had nowhere to turn and support wasn’t easy to access. However, the Legion came in and listened, supported and helped us come back together as a family,” said Chantelle.
Annette, a member of the Royal British Legion’s West Midlands team, soon arrived to help with paperwork and guide the family through their difficult time. She also helped organise a family holiday to Center Parcs, something that helped the healing process.
“The girls absolutely loved the holiday and it gave them the opportunity to just be kids again, enjoy the activities like rock climbing and simply have space,” said Chantelle. “It was the break we really needed and we came back stronger after feeling so numb before.”
Chantelle summarised what the Legion’s support has meant for her: “After Ryan passed it seemed that we had nowhere to turn and support wasn’t easy to access. However, the Legion came in and listened, supported and helped us come back together as a family.”
Donations through events like the Poppy Walk are essential to providing much needed assistance to families like the Wynns. So, what does the Poppy Walk entail?
Armed with a map to navigate a specially-designed trail through the city’s old streets, participants will be guided through Leeds’ rich cultural history with a fun quiz to help them discover more about the city we call home.
Designed to be inclusive and suitable for all ages and abilities, the Poppy Walk promises to be a fun-filled day for all your friends and family – including the family dog. Even if you choose to walk solo, you’ll be able to spot and meet up with other Poppy Walkers in their distinctive event t-shirts.
The best part? You can complete the 10km route at your own pace, even stopping off for a pint or a coffee at the city’s best pubs and cafes along the route if you like. There’s also live music and entertainment at the finish venue to help you unwind when the walk is completed.
Adults taking part are being asked to raise £50 with plenty of ways for children to get involved in the fundraising too. With just £50, the Royal British Legion could help fund a much-needed help for an Armed Forces family.
To find out more information or to sign up for your place on the Poppy Walk Leeds, visit www.rbl.org.uk/poppywalk