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Supporting our heroes

The Mark Wright Project

 The Mark Wright Drop-in Centre first opened its doors in November 2009.

THE Centre, in Dalkeith, close to Edinburgh, was the inspiration of Bob and Jem Wright whose son, Mark, was killed in September 2006 while serving with the Parachute Regiment on operations in Afghanistan. For his extreme bravery he was posthumously awarded the George Cross.

“Mark was the bravest person I ever had the honour of working with,
followed by his Mum and Dad for setting up this charity in his name.
I would like to thank them for sponsoring my
own treatment.”

At the heart of the Centre, there is a real sense of comradeship with the Centre’s director, Nancy Campbell and the volunteer staff demonstrating the strong commitment of the charity to support and encourage those men and women who served in the Armed Forces and because of the severity of their wounds or injury, physical and emotional, have had to return to civilian life prematurely. The Centre’s homely and relaxed atmosphere provides an informal setting for veterans to share the challenges they are facing, be given practical ’hands on‘ support and advice to enable them to regain their selfesteem and confidence.

The Centre is working closely with many other organisations and military charities; Midlothian Council, Veterans First Point, Combat Stress, Poppyscotland, SPVA, Citizens Advice Bureau SSAFA Forces Help, Royal British Legion Scotland, the NHS and the wider local community in the Lothians to ensure that the veterans who visit the Centre receive coordinated, timely and effective support. The grass roots approach at the Centre ensures there is always a welcome for those seeking support as they adjust during their transition from the Services and thereafter; learning life skills is proving an important element of the visitors’ needs.

Bob Wright said: “I think Mark would be proud of us, creating something positive that will help our lads and lassies.”

Paul Hartley, who as a medic tried to save Mark’s life commented: “Mark was the bravest person I ever had the honour of working with, followed by his Mum and Dad for setting up this charity in his name. I would like to thank them for sponsoring my own treatment.”

Chris Savage, who is benefiting from support at the Centre added: “This is a frontline service, just what is needed in the 21st century, addressing both veterans and their families’ needs.”

Jim, relaxing among company said: “I have finally found a family – you don’t need to explain yourself, you just get the practical support and help you need.”

Andy, a director and volunteer, enthused: “The Centre gives me purpose, and a chance to be me and a direction in life.”



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