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Military fundraiser awarded MBE for his efforts in support of Combat Stress and veterans’ mental health

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Andrew Unwin, a Staff Sergeant in the Adjutant General’s Corps, has been awarded an MBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours list for raising awareness of veterans’ mental health and supporting Combat Stress, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and Mind.

On International Men’s Day in 2018, Andrew handcuffed himself to a 3kg medicine ball to highlight the invisible weight that veterans with mental health problems have to bear. It was the start of a long two weeks spent chained to the weight day and night – working, eating and sleeping without once removing it.

When his two weeks with the medicine ball were up, Andrew encouraged friends to take on the challenge. Before long, the same ball had been passed on to people around the country and the challenge gained real support.

Now, over two years later, Andrew has raised almost £15,000 and has far surpassed his original target of £3,000.

The plan is to keep the challenge going and spreading far and wide for as long as possible, in order to raise greater awareness of both military and civilian mental health problems.

To find out more about the challenge, visit