HEROES: Damien Schofield with some of the attendees at the most recent Younger Heroes camp at Mount Warning.
HEROES: Damien Schofield with some of the attendees at the most recent Younger Heroes camp at Mount Warning. Contributed

Helping out our Younger Heroes

YOUNGER Heroes, a program designed to help strengthen the families of ex-military personnel has received a $10,000 Centenary Award from the Commonwealth Bank.

Meanwhile the Younger Heroes are still looking to snare a major sponsor, even as they prepare to roll out four more programs back to back between August and October.

Founded by Bangalow personal trainer Damien Schofield, Younger Heroes runs programs to support the children of men and women who have been on active duty with the defence forces.

Mr Schofield said many ex-service people return home bearing psychological scars from their service and their children are often deeply affected by this.

The Younger Heroes programs aim to help those families reconnect.

"We take the serviceman and their children up into the bush for four days with no technology and work on building resilience, communication skills and team building,” Mr Schofield said.

"Its fantastic that a major organisation such as the Commonwealth Bank has recognised the Younger Heroes- this will help us out in a big way.

"This is a Sydney based grant so we will look at getting Sydney families up here to the North Coast.”

"I'm the son of a Vietnam veteran so I understand what those soldier's families went through and what the next generation of defence children are going through and can share some coping mechanism for things that may come up in their life later on. Our events are very complex to organise, especially as I am working full time, so we are running on the smell of an oily rag.”

Commonwealth Bank Lane Cove area manager, Aaron Van Plateringen said: "We're thrilled to be able to support organisations like The Younger Heroes in the important work they do for our community.”

Mr Schofield has recruited ex-Special Forces soldier Mark Wales as CEO of the organisation and the pair, together with trained army psychologist recently took a group of ex-military personnel and their children away for a bush camp near Mount Warning.

"What Damien has identified is that there is no real targeting by the government of the relationship between a parent and the child, which really suffers considerably,” Mr Wales said.

"A family can have associative trauma that can lead to things such as self harm and long term unemployment for the children and we will be aiming to help prevent that occurring.”

Go to: www.theyounger heroes.org.

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