EACH time Help for Heroes volunteer Jules Adcock completes 
a challenge, she lays a white rose in memory of ex-Royal Military Police officer Martin from Essex.

He took his life in August 2016, amidst a particularly unsettling time, several years after he left the military.

Best friend Jules, who lives in Braintree, said: “That knocked me completely for six.

"Even though you’ve done all you can, you blame yourself. I still do it now.”

For the following weeks Jules struggled to get out of bed, began to get panic attacks and was given medication to control her symptoms which worsened after Martin’s death.

She was lucky enough to get support from a mental health nurse but what saved her was a trip to Perth, in Australia, and a unwelcome Christmas gift.

She said: “The plan was to just sit on the beach and cry it all out but while I was there my cousin bought me a skydive.


Jules pictured on the descent 

“That was the last thing I wanted to do but it just changed me. I thought: ‘OK, what’s the worst that’s going to happen?’ I’m going to go splat. And at the time I didn’t care.

“But his idea was for me to jump and scream all the rubbish out on the way down. I asked myself what would make me jump out of those doors, and it was charity.” 

Having served 24 years, Martin, who at one point had served in Colchester, was a huge Help for Heroes supporter.

Facing her own fears gave Jules, now a local volunteer co-ordinator, a new strength which led to her doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks, a six-day trek in Cambodia, plus hosting her own events in Martin’s memory - something she never thought possible.

To mark his two-year anniversary, she will do a sponsored climb up Ben Nevis this summer at night.

She said: “Martin had done the national challenge where you climb the three highest peaks in 24 hours so in some way, I’ll be walking in his footsteps.”

In Jules’ own words, volunteering almost saved her so she wants more people to consider it as a way to turn their lives around.

She said: “It’s given me a reason and I’m starting to find out about myself and that perhaps, I’m stronger than I think.

“I’m sure there are loads of people out there who are struggling but don’t know how to change their life, and it is a big step to actually change your ways.”

She added: “The beauty of volunteering is you can do as much or as little as you want but it’s also a good escape.

“I’ve got such amazing friends and people I can turn to now and it’s given me chances I never thought I’d have.

"If I can progress and do more, I will, it’s given me a goal.”

  • To volunteer for Help for Heroes click here or call 01206 814880.