Al Murray – Our Patron
Al Murray – best known for performing his comic colossus, The Pub Landlord. Has appeared in a variety of comedy shows, TV programmes and films. Also a presenter and author with a keen interest in military history and the Armed Forces.
“Servicemen and women who risk their lives for us deserve the best from us, especially after sustaining injury. Yet many attempting to re-build their lives encounter negativity surrounding their mental condition. Fear and stigma of illness should have no place in our society. They discourage people from seeking help and make it difficult for those in recovery to join a workforce and integrate into a local community.
There is no-one better to address this than veterans who have themselves overcome PTSD and other mental traumas, especially if they’re capable actors demonstrating how much they still have to offer. I’m delighted to be Hats Off for Bootsie’s Patron and lend a shoulder to their positive message and admirable cause.”
Tom Stimpson: Chief Ambassador and Public Speaker – served twenty-six years in the Royal Air Force, including tours of the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan. Awarded MBE by HM The Queen in 1999 whilst serving with NATO. Suffered a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) in Basra in 2006 but went on to serve in Afghanistan in 2009. Presently under the care of Combat Stress for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, seizures and his MTBI. Passionately believes opportunity comes out of adversity. Has spoken about mental trauma to audiences in Footsie 100 companies, Corpus Christi College Oxford and The Royal Society of Arts. Recently started acting, had his art exhibited in London for ‘The Way Ahead’ project, and started writing his second book. Was a competitor in the Orlando Invictus Games, and was featured in the BBC documentary The Road to Invictus.
Shaun Johnson: Ambassador and Public Speaker – served eight years with a Gun Regiment with two active tours in Northern Ireland, and three years with a Ceremonial Mounted Regiment. After sustaining a crush injury, left the army but found transition to civilian life harsh. Eventually sought help with Combat Stress who diagnosed hyper-vigilance and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In 2010, joined Combat Veteran Players (CVP) which he claims was a revelation and aid to his continued recovery. With CVP played Hamlet at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2014, as well as both Malvolio in Twelfth Night in 2016 and Richard III in 2017 at the Leicester Square Theatre, London. Also appeared in the Poetry-Next-The-Sea festival to read poetry-themed on World War One. Currently working with Shakespeare’s Soldiers, a venture comprised of military veterans delivering Shakespeare workshops to schools across the UK. Has appeared on television, radio, and in several national newspapers talking about his experiences.
Adrian Scarbrough: Head of Media and Communications – served twenty-two years in The Royal Artillery, becoming a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer. Experience covered airborne surveillance, meteorology and operational photography. Other operational tasks included United Nations High Commission for Refugees and other humanitarian duties. Spent last four years of service as a project manager working on Oracle databases within the MOD in London. After spending one year with a Psychologist in 2002, was advised he showed symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress. Currently combining twenty years passion for photography and sixteen years of corporate IT to run three small businesses which create an online presence and visual narratives.
Some of our Friends and Trustees completing the 2016 Big Issue Foundation London Night Walk to raise money for crisis intervention.
Robin Vickers – recently retired Colonel in the British Army. Commissioned in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and saw operational service in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. Instrumental in delivering enhancements to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, improving remunerative benefits for military personnel and veterans injured in service. Recently appointed Bursar of Caldicott Boys’ Preparatory School.
Ishmael Carboo – ex-Senior Non-Commissioned Officer in the British Army with experience as a Combat Medical Technician and front-line Blood Transfusion Specialist in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Saw operational service in Afghanistan with 16 Close Support Medical Regiment. Currently Head Biomedical Scientist in Haematology & Blood Transfusion at a private hospital in Central London and member of London Regional Transfusion Committee.
Rachael Odeniyi – a primary school teacher, currently working as an intervention maths specialist in schools, with an interest in reducing the effects of maths anxiety on learning. Previously a governor for eight years at a local infant school; for five of those years was Chair of Governors, leading the school through two Outstanding Ofsted Inspections. Founding member of Maidenhead Fair Trade Group which achieved official Fair Trade status for the Royal Borough in 2006.
Chris Greenslade (Chair) – has some thirty years experience in the IT industry, including fifteen years with ICL Fujitsu with various sales, sales management and business management positions. In recent years has invested in a number of small businesses and is currently a director and part owner of a cybersecurity software company. Has served as a trustee for twenty years in total, including eight years as chair of a Board of Trustees.
Nigel Fair – trained with the Royal Marines but opted for a career in the theatre, initially as an actor and then as an opera singer. Established a solo career at home and abroad, mainly in Verdi and Russian repertoire. Was forced to give up because of a collapse in his lung function. Has experience in the charity sector and growing a business; currently teaches singing and writes. After discussions in 2015 with Jaclyn McLoughlin, founder of Combat Veteran Players, saw the need to form a new charity in order to champion mental trauma overcomers.
Actors from The Soldiers’ Arts Academy photo credit: Tony Scott
The Soldiers’ Arts Academy promotes visual and performance arts for veterans injured mentally and or physically during military service. Through these activities, it aims to help them recover from their injuries, transition back into the community and progress towards returning to work.
Read-through of Soldier On photo credit – Tony Scott
Current projects include Soldier On by Jonathan Lewis with original music by veteran, Max Hamilton, and Remember, a dance to commemorate the First World War based on work by artist-in-residence and veteran, Harry Parker.
Hats Off for Bootsie is delighted to be working with actors from the Soldiers’ Arts Academy. They are uniquely equipped to stand in the public spotlight to raise awareness and challenge perceptions of military veterans recovering from mental trauma and homelessness.
Recent performance of Richard III Photo credit – Charles Allfrey
Friends of Hats Off for Bootsie
We are indebted to a number of individuals who are donating their expertise and skills:
Web design by Mountain View Marketing
Photography by Adrian Scarbrough Photography
Logo design by 634Creative
Permission to publish sculpture images by Paul Day
Legal Advice by Ashleigh Harding
Research by L J Galea