by Charlie Martell, 18th October 2014

The “Man” – Several years ago, Ben Goss, Adrian Bell and I were sitting down to our first “Pacific 2012” meeting in a well known coffee shop chain in Reading when I received a call from Billy MacLeod. Billy, a former Sapper (Royal Engineer) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferer was seeking support to enable him to help others suffering from PTSD.

I spoke with Ben (Chairman of Give Them a Sporting Chance (GTaSC)) and asked whether the charity could assist Billy. It only took a few moments for Ben to realise that GTaSC could help Billy and therefore help others through PTSD.

Billy’s dream was realised and Veterans In Action (VIA) was born. VIA, under Billy’s leadership, has gone from strength to strength helping those who suffer from PTSD. You can find more information at

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the VIA ALIVE Centre and meeting Billy. Our meeting confirmed that I still support Billy and VIA and I’m pleased to announce that I plan to support VIA through my return to The Pacific in 2016.

“The Angel” – Last week, I was made aware of a little girl called Melissa. Melissa suffers from a rare genetic disorder called “Angelman Syndrome”. Melissa can’t speak, nor can she sleep and so this Syndrome affects every part of her life and also her family’s.

Melissa’s Mum has set up a foundation in the hope that a cure can be found for this rare disorder, you can find more information here and

Having communicated with Melissa’s Mum, I have asked a few of my London to Paris rowing event friends to join me in undertaking a challenge for Meliss, where we will aim to raise funds for and awareness of Angelman Syndrome. I hope I can count on you for your support.