Updated: Mar 3, 2019
When thinking about an appropriate name for my new, non-profit, organisation I dug deep into the reasons why I wanted to explore this venture.
2018 saw the 100 year anniversary of the RAF and it made me think about my grandfather‘s service during WW2. He was stationed at RAF Rochford (now Southend airport) for the whole duration. He witnessed the full devastation of the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. It was one of the most heavily bombed airfields during the war. His father was in a protected profession at the major steelworks at Shotton in North Wales during both the world wars. Both saw fire any fury, but in very different ways.
A common passion of both these men was using their free time as semi-professional footballers to unwind and cope with the demands of the era. My grandfather played for Southend United and my great-grandfather played for Wrexham and for Wales. Both were goalkeepers. They treated their knocks and bruises with wintergreen oil.
Wintergreen is a plant which produces an essential oil that can be rubbed on to aching and sore muscles. It was a popular remedy in those days to support healing by warming up tired muscles. As footballers both of my ancestors will have regularly used this oil for relief.
I wanted the organisation to assist veterans with simple and effective techniques, mindfulness, Reiki and aromatherapy, in order to support and supplement their mental health recovery. Wintergreen oil seems the perfect starting place to create the name Wintergreen UK.
As a mental health pharmacist and holistic practitioner I want to help current veterans who may be struggling with their own mental health; although the service is also open to members of the public, places will be prioritised for veterans and their families.