The Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund
On the third of March, 2012
My whole world was torn apart
To learn the news that my dear son
Of this world did depart
The pain he carried lies with me
And tear drops burn my eyes
I’ll pray now, Lee that you’ll wait for me
And you’ll greet me when I die
at the age of 18.
He served in Afghanistan with 13 Air Assault Regiment where a close friend lost his life in battle. This war and the tragic loss of his friend left Lee with hidden scars. When Lee left the army, although undetected he was suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). This was never diagnosed so therefore never treated.
Lee's help never came and on March 3rd 2012 at the age of 24, Lee tragically took his own life.
In 2017, the Unload team met Lee's parents, Karen and Kenny at a music festival in Nottinghamshire where Ferocious Dog were performing and, to anyone who doesn't know, Kenny Bonsall is lead singer with Ferocious Dog. Karen and Kenny were keen to know more about what Unload does and spent time chatting with us and sharing their story; Lee's story.
In January 2018, the Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund sent us a truly meaningful donation. This donation delivered a dream we've had for some time - to help a beneficiary become an Advocate; to have the skills needed to be able to meet mental ill-health in others and to really listen to their story. To be equipped to spot the symptoms of sorrow, anxiety, depression or PTSD in other veterans and to be able to "meet them where they are at", with compassion and without judgment.
Thanks to Kenny and Karen, Unload delivered its pilot Advocacy Foundation Program to a dozen of our more experienced Tribe members in January 2018 and it was amazing. Here are some thank you messages we sent to Karen and Kenny.
A BIG THANK YOU. I've tried to put pen to paper to express the thanks I feel. The training that I received is helping and its real. I now know when to listen and when its time to talk. We sit and chat over a cuppa or maby go for a walk and I know I'm helping. This is now possible because of funds from YOU. As a veteran recipient of Unload and now an Advocate, I cannot thank you enough - Steve
What an amazing weekend. I also have learnt a lot from it but most of all. the highlight was the beautiful people I had the honour to do the course with. Thank you so much for helping Unload with this course, I am proud to call myself an Advocate and, without your help, this wouldn't have been possible - x Mark
Thank you Karen for your generous donation to ‘Unload’. I took part in the ‘Advocacy Training weekend ‘ and it was awesome. I had the chance to meet some great guys. This training has enabled me to continue further, helping our Veterans and their families and has given me so much more insight than I had before. Big hugs and love Jo xx
"Thank you" doesn't begin to cover our gratitude. We are blown away by your love and support.
With Our Love and Thanks to Lee, Karen and Kenny Bonsall
from Everyone at Unload
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