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The Bomb Disposal Charity for the entire EOD & Search community – past, present and future

Felix Fund – the bomb disposal charity is here to help any military from across all three services or SO15 (Metropolitan Police Counter Terror Unit) personnel who have conducted or assisted with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Search duties.

We provide welfare support and financial assistance to serving EOD personnel, veterans and their dependants.

Assisting EOD & Search personnel and their families

In the early years Felix Fund provided normalisation breaks for hundreds of individuals from EOD & Search teams on their return from Afghanistan and Northern Ireland. These breaks were designed to identify or reduce the impact of mental stress that a high-pressure tour can bring about and consisted of therapeutic team building activities, discussion groups designed to draw out and share operational experiences and more importantly provided the opportunity to regroup and re-enforce peer bonds with colleagues who had travelled the same operational journey. The breaks proved vital in identifying and ultimately reducing the risk of poor mental health among individuals.

Today Felix Fund continues to focus on mental health issues with our preventative stress training based on mindfulness. These programmes provide serving EOD and military personnel with the tools and techniques to recognise warning signs of stress and to be able to develop their ability to relax, clear their minds and focus on positive aspects of their life. This will then feed back into a more productive and positive work and home environment.

The other aspect of the work of Felix Fund is financial assistance to serving EOD personnel, veterans and their dependants, when they find themselves in times of need. This help is wide ranging from hydrotherapy treatment for a former soldier suffering from PTSD and sleep deprivation, a specially adapted buggy for the disabled son of a serving soldier to enable him to start school and go out with his family, and sporting equipment for two former Sappers to enable them to train for and compete in the Invictus Games.

We have also helped with home adaptations for EOD veterans, such as replacement windows, the installation of stair lifts and specialist furniture to ensure they are able to remain in their own homes.

In addition to these grants we provide limited funding for units towards adventure training activities. These must have some welfare benefit and we do not support teams undertaking competitions. The aim is to help EOD soldiers to get involved with a new sport or activity while benefiting from some down time from their high-pressured jobs.

Other grants to units have ranged from the refurbishment of on camp welfare facilities in locations such as, 321 Squadron in Northern Ireland and Marlborough Barracks, Kineton.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

The charitable objectives of Felix Fund are:

  • To provide financial assistance and welfare support to serving and former EOD operatives – plus any military or SO15 (Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Unit) personnel who assist them in their duties – during times of need through such charitable means as the trustees deem fit;
  • To provide financial assistance and welfare support to the families and dependants of EOD personnel who have lost their lives or been injured in the line of duty, and for those who have fallen on hard times, through such charitable means as the trustees deem fit;
  • To promote wellbeing within the EOD community by supporting appropriate welfare activities through such charitable means as the trustees deem fit; and
  • To commemorate and sustain the memories of the sacrifices made by EOD personnel who have lost their lives in the course of their work.
RESEARCH INTERESTS
  • Mindfulness and awareness;
  • Identifying and reducing the risk of poor mental health and the impact of mental stress experienced during high-pressure tours;
  • Therapeutic team building activities, discussion groups and shared operational experiences;
  • Recognising the warning signs of stress; and
  • Providing the tools and techniques to enable individuals to focus on positive aspects.
RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Profile in Government Europa Quarterly, issue 26

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Mental health support for explosive ordnance disposal personnel

The UK’s explosive ordnance disposal community comprises personnel from the British Army, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, as well as SO15...

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