Focus: Fundraising - Me and my charity - Les Heyhoe, Falklands Veterans Foundation

Les Heyhoe is volunteer fundraising and events manager for the Falklands Veterans Foundation, for which he has raised £32,000 in the past three years. He has supported numerous other charities and has raised more than £10m over the past 30 years.

Why do you support the Falklands Veterans Association?

I became involved because a couple of my friends were killed in the Falklands War.

Not many people realise that 255 people were killed in the war, but 320 more have committed suicide since then because of post-traumatic stress disorder.

We have a piece of land on the Falklands - it's our plan to build on it so that veterans and their families can have somewhere to stay when they go back there.

The idea is that they can lay their nightmares to rest on their return, which research has shown is an effective way of dealing with post-traumatic stress.

How did you get into fundraising?

It started when I was 18 and serving in the navy. I collected ring-pulls for a charity called the Wymondham Lions and I probably collected them from the whole fleet. It just went on from there.

What do you do to fundraise?

We are holding an 'invasion ball' in April to commemorate the invasion of the Falklands. I'm also planning a sponsored abseil in Portsmouth, which I hope will raise as much as £250,000.

Do you fundraise for other charities?

I have raised money for Guide Dogs for the Blind, Tenovus Cancer Research, Macmillan, the British Heart Foundation, the Children of Gambia and many more.

Once I got into fundraising, I began to get a bit of a reputation and I started to be approached by charities that wanted me to fundraise for them.

They felt I would organise things well and raise a lot of money. It's difficult to talk about yourself, but I think maybe it's my rapport with people that helps me fundraise.

How many charities are you involved with at the moment?

Only the Falklands Veterans Foundation. I decided that by focusing on one charity I could raise more, and it's a charity with which I have a strong connection.

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