Harrogate veteran with PTSD to take on 300-mile challenge

Wilf Sneddon is set and raring to go with his wheels.
Wilf Sneddon is set and raring to go with his wheels.

A Harrogate veteran who still has ‘nightmares’ from his 15 years in the army, is set to cycle over 300 miles from France to Belgium as part of his ongoing battle with PTSD.

Wilf Sneddon, originally from Stirling, left the army in 1993 and married his wife, Margaret, from Knaresborough.

But the memories of more than 15 years’ service have stayed with Wilf, who is receiving combat stress therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Wilf said: “It’s hard to sleep at night time, I have nightmares. It’s difficult to leave the house, go out and do things.

“I’m hypervigillant when I’m out and about, I’m constantly looking for problems and threats.”

In support of his treatment for PTSD, the Band of Brothers at Help for Heroes encouraged Wilf to take part in the charity’s Big Battlefield Bike Ride, which will see 200 comrades cycle from the Glade of Armistice to the Saint Symphorien Cemetery.

The ride, which takes place over four days between June 11 and 15, will also cross the Battlefields of the Somme and Vimy Ridge.

But despite the huge challenge, Wilf said he is looking forward to the ride, and says the training has helped him in a number of ways.

He said: "I am looking forward to it, it’s getting me out and about, I’m fit again, I’ve lost weight, and hopefully it’s a chance to make friends and meet like-minded people who have had similar experiences.”

Wilf has set out to raise as much as he can for Help for Heroes and will be holding a quiz night at Harrogate Railway Sports and Social Club in a bid to get more donations.

As well as a quiz, the night boasts stand-up bingo and a raffle with prizes ranging from Everyman and Odeon cinema tickets, vouchers for The Viper Rooms, a free Stoneacre car valet and a back massage at Beauty by Claire.

The night starts at 7.30pm on May 25 and entry is £2.50 per person, including supper.