Blue Light Appeal founder Mark Leach hopes campaign has some reach as WOW Day


Trainer Laurie Campbell, Instant Response Training co-ordinator Ben Jeffrey and Mediforce Group Director and CEO/founder of Blue Light Appeal Mark Leach Picture: Matt Jelonek d453917
Trainer Laurie Campbell, Instant Response Training co-ordinator Ben Jeffrey and Mediforce Group Director and CEO/founder of Blue Light Appeal Mark Leach Picture: Matt Jelonek d453917

WEAR Orange Wednesday (WOW Day) was just another workday for many emergency service workers who already dress in orange, but the scale of support was not lost on them.

The annual national day recognised last month gets bigger and bigger every year, according to Blue Light Appeal chief executive Mark Leach.

The Mediforce founder said WA relied on volunteers like the SES.

Emergency Services minister Joe Francis said WOW Day was an opportunity for people to honour the hard work and dedication of emergency service volunteers.

“Western Australia is fortunate to have more than 2000 SES volunteers who give up their time to help keep the community safe during emergencies,” Mr Francis said.

Elizabeth Quay and Council House were among landmarks that were lit up in orange to mark WOW Day.

Mr Leach launched Blue Light Appeal last year to raise money and awareness for emergency service personnel who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and their families.

The inaugural fundraising event is on Saturday, July 16 at Government House Ballroom.

Money raised will go towards bringing a NSW document about the signs, symptoms and remedies for PTSD to WA for training purposes as well as distributed among charities doing research on PTSD.

Funds will also help Mediforce boost its training, families will have access to downtime so they can communicate and learn skills to handle PTSD, and sufferers will be retrained to enter the workforce.

Mr Leach spent eight years in the military before doing stints in the police force and as a fire fighter and paramedic.

He was diagnosed with PTSD 10 years ago and “it took three years to get on top of it”.

“You are never cured but you learn the skills to deal and cope with it,” Mr Leach said.

Details

Blue Light Appeal

When: Saturday, July 16

Where: Government House Ballroom

Tickets