PTSD Fireworks

Our campaign to add wording to the fireworks code

Our Fireworks campaign gets Royal Society backing - so pleased 

A small charity based in Leigh is supporting veterans who experience stress and anxiety and in the worst cases flashbacks, by funding a weekend away.

Linda Fisher the Founder of the Charity Shoulder to Soldier has been campaigning to raise awareness about the negative impact of random fireworks on some ex forces personnel for many years. In the past and again this year she has produced leaflets for sellers of fireworks to distribute, displayed posters in supermarkets and public places. She has written to the MOD and recently to RoSPA the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to ask that they highlight this as an issue and raise public awareness. 

RoSPA have responded and there is now a specific advice on their website and a link to Shoulder to Soldier’s website Linda seeks to see additional wording in the fireworks code and continues to campaign until this is achieved.  This year the charity is providing much needed respite from the fireworks to a family, by booking a 3 day break away in North Yorkshire, somewhere quieter. Linda hopes that more people will offer this as an option for those who just need to get away. If owners of properties are interested she asks that they get in touch so the Charity can provide support to those who most need it.

Linda said “The impact of random fireworks on some veterans cannot be underestimated, we are aware of clients who stay in and are more anxious at this time of year. Our campaign is about raising awareness and responsible firework use.  I am so pleased that the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has listened to our request and has now inserted specific wording reiterating the campaigns message on its website about our veterans and fireworks”

The wording inserted by RoSPA is outlined below. “Please act responsibly and have consideration for those around you For veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the sights, sounds and smells of fireworks around Bonfire Night and other celebrations can be an unwelcome trigger for upsetting and frightening memories of conflict. You can find more information at Shoulder to Soldier.”

Sheila Merrill, public health adviser for RoSPA, said: “Although RoSPA’s work on firework safety is about preventing serious burns and other life changing injuries, we recognise the dreadful effects they can have on veterans, and we are happy to support Shoulder to Soldier’s campaign on the issue.”  

Thomas Houston an army veteran who has been on operational tours in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Iraq said: “It is great that a local charity is providing the opportunity for armed forces families to get away to somewhere quieter at this time of year. It is the random fireworks that impact on some veterans the most. I hope the idea of the offer of breaks away takes off and would like people to support this charity and the great work it delivers. So in the run up to bonfire night “Please think Soldiers depression” (PTSD)”  .