Worthing friends record charity single

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A GROUP of friends are launching a charity single for veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress.

John Counsell, a former soldier, and his friend Gary Tickner, created the lyrics for the song, called The Queen’s Shilling, together.

John has been having counselling sessions with Combat Stress for the past eight years.

He said: “The charity is fantastic because it helps ex-service men and women suffering from psychological injuries and mental health problems.”

John, 48, has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since leaving the Army aged 19.

He and Gary have teamed up with Worthing band Fired Up, in which Gary plays bass guitar, to create the single, which has been recorded for free by Ivy Arch Studios.

Gary, 45, said: “John came to me and asked how he could get involved in the band. I was well aware that John is a very good artist and painter so I told him to go away and write us some original material to work with. John came back with eight sets of lyrics – to the band’s total amazement there were some fantastic lyrics there.”

Gary said the one which stood out was John’s experience in the Army, which the band were unaware of.

Combat Stress are backing the charity single, which the pair hope will raise thousands of pounds for the charity.

He said: “Gary and I are so grateful to the amazing band, and Combat Stress, and everyone who is supporting this incredibly worthy cause. People don’t realise how soldiers can be affected by the Army and war – many of them are so confused, it’s no wonder we get homeless soldiers on the streets. We all hope this song will make a real difference.”

The band have already performed the song at the Coach and Horses, near Clapham, and hope to make it available on download soon.