Richard Cutting’s artwork, “Horse”

A veteran of the Royal Engineers who has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder has realised his dream of studying for a fine arts degree…

Richard Cutting, from County Durham, served with the Royal Engineers for four years before becoming an infantry reservist for two years. Now the 65-year-old, who has received specialist support from Finchale Group and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, is studying a fine arts degree at Teesside University as part of his recovery.

Richard said: “I love art and it really helps me manage my post-traumatic stress disorder. I’ve had the chance to exhibit some of my artwork recently and now I’d like to help other veterans showcase their art. The help from Finchale Group and ABF has been fantastic and it’s really allowing me to make progress.”

Finchale Group case manager Angela Kelly works with Richard – helping him to manage his finances, arrange hospital appointments and find accommodation. Angela added: “I’m delighted to see Richard pursuing his dream and making progress in his recovery.

“He has faced major challenges to overcome difficulties in his life, and his resilience is inspirational. At Finchale Group we’re incredibly proud of the work we do with people like Richard in the North East, helping to build stability in their lives.”

Richard is just one of a group of veterans who have been supported by Finchale Group and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity since April 2018. Vital grant funding from ABF has allowed Finchale Group to help 33 veterans with challenges such as finding housing and jobs, managing finances and help coping with health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and drug and alcohol misuse.

Finchale Group’s case managers have been working one-to-one with veterans in the North East community – and the results show many have made real progress. A report on the outcomes of the programme shows more than 90% of veterans have increased their sense of health and happiness.