Blue Light Appeal fundraiser for SES volunteers hopes to capture the WOW factor


Trainer Laurie Campbell, instant response training co-ordinator Ben Jeffrey and Mediforce group director and Blue Light Appeal chief executive Mark Leach.
Picture: Matt Jelonek         www.communitypix.com.au   d453917
Trainer Laurie Campbell, instant response training co-ordinator Ben Jeffrey and Mediforce group director and Blue Light Appeal chief executive Mark Leach. Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au d453917

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

The annual national day of support held 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 such as those with 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 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 to be distributed among charities doing research on PTSD.

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