Eastbourne army veterans and dog honoured at Downing Street

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Two Eastbourne army veterans and a dog who help others cope with post-traumatic stress joined MP Caroline Ansell to be honoured at a Downing Street reception.

Barry Coase, Eddie Braillard and Bella the dog joined the veterans’ minister Johnny Mercer at number 10 for the Local Veteran Champions’ Reception alongside Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell.

Petra Coase, who works with the charity Combat Stress with Barry and Eddie, was also invited by the MP.

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Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health and helps former servicemen and women with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Barry Coase, Eddie Braillard and Bella the dog joined the veterans’ minister Johnny Mercer at number 10 for the Local Veteran Champions’ Reception alongside Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell. Picture: Caroline AnsellBarry Coase, Eddie Braillard and Bella the dog joined the veterans’ minister Johnny Mercer at number 10 for the Local Veteran Champions’ Reception alongside Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell. Picture: Caroline Ansell
Barry Coase, Eddie Braillard and Bella the dog joined the veterans’ minister Johnny Mercer at number 10 for the Local Veteran Champions’ Reception alongside Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell. Picture: Caroline Ansell

The trio work tirelessly locally to support those who served with their mental health issues as well as visits to hospitals and hospices. Bella is Barry and Petra’s dog and she is a PTSD support Dog.

Eastbourne’s MP said: “I was so pleased to take Barry, Eddie, Petra and, of course, Bella to number 10 to be recognised for their important work helping our veterans and others,” said Caroline.

“It was a fitting tribute for their service in the army and care and dedication to helping others. It was also a chance to meet the minister and other veterans from across the UK. A good night was had by all.”

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Barry said: “What an absolute honour to be recognised for the work we do, obviously it's a team effort, Team Bella works extremely hard to help keep our veterans with mental health issues safe. Thank you to my fellow veterans who work alongside us and thank you to Caroline for making these amazing memories happen"