Former soldier takes on challenge for SSAFA

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19 March 2024

Ben Ground, of Sutton Coldfield, formerly of 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, is taking on a tough running challenge to raise funds for SSAFA. Ben has just started volunteering for the organisation as a caseworker and views the voluntary work and fundraising as a way to “give back” to a charity which has supported so many of his friends.

Ben said: “When you are serving you have a very clear identity. When that is taken away from you [when you leave the military] that is a very difficult thing. So many ex-military personnel struggle to find their place in the world.

“My time in the military was so important in sculpting who I am today. I was lucky to leave on my own terms, but I lost people in combat and I know what the repercussions of that can be. Volunteering for SSAFA was the sensible thing for me to do.”

Ben will be carrying an 11 kilogram bergen (military backpack) around the Cannock Running Festival’s 10 kilometre race on the 14th of April.

Ben said: “I’m in my mid-50s so this run is a testament to the perseverance and spirit of those we aim to support. Despite my age, I am ready to face this challenge head-on, symbolising the resilience and determination we need to overcome the problems we sometimes face as service leavers.”

To promote the charity and raise awareness that it looks after serving personnel as well as veterans, and to reflect that it is a tri-service charity, Ben has been training for his challenge with the Army at Kendrew Barracks. He will also be visiting the Royal Navy’s HMS Raleigh to complete the assault course with the new recruits, and visiting RAF Cosford in Wolverhampton to train there too in the coming weeks.

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