A WESTON husband and wife team have won the title of Regional Fundraiser of the Year by veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress.

Cris Lovett, a Navy veteran, and his wife Jane started supporting the charity in 2017 after learning that there were no community volunteers in the local area.

Ever since then, the couple have been supporting the charity, which helps former service men and women across the country with military-related trauma.

Cris and Jane have helped connect local veterans to mental health services in North Somerset and beyond.

They have also been fundraising in various different ways. Jane has tackled numerous 10k runs and half marathons for the charity, including four in just six weeks after the final Covid lockdown.  

Last year, the couple also supported the National Armed Forces Day in Falmouth.

Weston Mercury: The couple's support of the charity has been invaluable. The couple's support of the charity has been invaluable. (Image: Combat Stress)

Cris and Jane were recognised for their work at the Combat Stress’ annual ‘Extra Mile’ awards at the Cavalry and Guards Club, in London. The event, which was hosted by the charity’s president Sir General Peter Wall, took place on Thursday, February 22.

Over 120 fundraisers and volunteers attended.

Cris understands the importance of veterans receiving the right support. Cris worked as a marine engineering mechanic in the Royal Navy for seven years.

However, his diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) came years later after he was attacked during a robbery at work.
Speaking about how it felt to win the award, Cris said: “We were gobsmacked when we found out we’d won this award. We feel so honoured and still a little bit speechless!

"It was something we never expected to receive, nor did we start volunteering for this amazing charity to receive awards.

“My PTSD has been challenging over the years but knowing our fundraising is helping other veterans helps a great deal.

"We will continue to do everything in our power to spread awareness and support veterans in the region who are struggling with their mental health, just like I have.”

Robert Marsh, director of Fundraising at Combat Stress, added: “We are incredibly grateful to Cris and Jane Lovett for their tireless and selfless efforts to raise the profile of our life-changing treatment throughout the Somerset area.

"We are therefore delighted to present them with the Regional Fundraiser of the Year award.

“No other charity does what we do. We provide the most comprehensive veteran mental health treatment service in the UK, but we couldn’t do it without the incredible support and dedication of Cris and Jane and all our other community fundraisers.”