babcock image eightAussie sporting heroes and veterans have joined forces to launch Coles’ annual Bravery Trust Appeal to support service men and women facing hard times.

Australian cricket legend Justin Langer, Australian Wheelchair Rugby League star Pete Arbuckle and Bravery Trust chair and decorated veteran Lieutenant Colonel Garth Callender are among the high-profile Bravery Trust ambassadors, supporters and beneficiaries who are backing the six-day fundraiser. Richmond Football Club has also thrown its support behind Bravery Trust and is supporting the appeal.

Up until Anzac Day, Coles donated 50 cents from the sale of every 12-pack of Coles Bakery biscuits and cookies sold in-store or online to military charity Bravery Trust, including favourites such Anzac Biscuits, Choc Chip Cookies and Coconut Drops.  Customers can also make a donation of their choice in-store at Coles checkouts.

To kick off the campaign, Coles donated gift cards to Bravery Trust to help around 100 veterans and their families buy emergency food and groceries.

Australian Army veteran and Bravery Trust beneficiary Pete Arbuckle, said small amounts of money can mean a lot when battling unforeseen expenses on a fixed income.  Pete, who lost his left leg in a motorbike accident in 2015 after being medically discharged, urged shoppers to get behind the appeal. “Bravery Trust is such a vital charity – they can help when other agencies can’t. They’ve not only provided financial assistance when I needed it most but also moral support and hope when I was recovering from my injuries,” he said. “The Coles Bravery Trust Appeal is not just about raising funds, it is also about raising awareness of the great work of Bravery Trust and encouraging other veterans to reach out and seek help.”

Since it was founded 10 years ago, Bravery Trust has provided financial support to more than 6,000 veterans and their families across Australia by helping with medical fees, energy bills, rent, education costs and food vouchers.  The charity also offers a veteran-specific financial counselling service to help rebuild lives.

Bravery Trust Chair Lieutenant Colonel Garth Callender said funds raised will help some of Australia’s most at-risk veterans and their families. “Seventy per cent of veterans assisted by Bravery Trust have left the ADF due to a physical or mental illness, meaning their departure can be sudden and unplanned,” he said. “We understand each veteran has their own unique journey to recovery – and we begin by assisting with their immediate financial needs to resolve the crisis. We then work longer term with veterans and their families to grow skills and confidence.”

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