A charity football match is being held in aid of Climbing Out, which helps people rebuild their mindset following a physical or mental trauma. The event is being organised by two previous participants who attended a Climbing Out 5 day residential programme last year. The match is taking place on May 28 at The New Saints FC Park Hall Stadium in Oswestry.

One of the organisers, Hannah McEwen, first attended a Climbing Out programme in April 2022, following traumatic events in her personal life and extra stress during the pandemic working as a respiratory physio for the NHS. Her partner, Gary Shaw, inspired by Hannah’s experience, went on to attend a programme last summer, having suffered with PTSD from his time spent in the Army. Gary now works for Total Rail Solutions, who are generously sponsoring the event.

Both Hannah and Gary were made Climbing Out Ambassadors to help more people find out about the charity’s work.

Hannah McEwen said, “Since attending Climbing Out’s programmes, our lives have changed significantly in such a positive way and we can’t thank Climbing Out enough. We want to do our part by raising funds for the charity and helping more people to find out about Climbing Out so they can get the same help we did.”

Climbing Out’s programmes are held across the UK. The 5 day residential trips combine outdoor activities and mental resilience coaching, to build strategies to cope with everyday life. They work with adults who have had their lives derailed by an injury or illness, or PTSD or anxiety linked to a traumatic event.

Charity founder, Kelda Wood MBE, said, “We are very grateful to Gary and Hannah for all their hard work putting this event together, I really hope it will be well supported by the local community and beyond. I’m also immensely proud of how they’ve built on what they learnt from the programmes, which focus on taking control of your mindset, actions and behaviours – and Hannah and Gary are certainly doing that and more! I’ll be there on the day to cheer everyone on.”

The match will see the Welsh Veterans Over 40s team take on the Climbing Out Club (a social group for past participants). After the match there will be an award ceremony and celebration.

Co-organiser, Gary Shaw, adds, “Football has been a big part of both of our lives, and everyone around us, so I came up with the idea of organising a match that would raise funds and awareness of Climbing Out. Please come along to see a great football match and help us raise funds for this amazing charity!”

The event will run from 1pm – 9pm, with the match kicking off at 2pm. Tickets can be purchased from www.eventbrite.com/e/climbing-out-vs-welsh-veterans-charity-football-match-tickets-539606416317.

Hannah McEwen and Gary Shaw taking part in a Climbing Out fundraising hike.

Gary Shaw on a Climbing Out programme with Hardy, one of the charity’s 4 legged team members.