A GROUP set up to support serving and ex-military and emergency services workers has been helping people from its St Helens base.

No Duff was launched last year and is described as a group of serving and former service personnel who, along with civilian colleagues, recognise the need to support rank and file personnel both serving and retired who as a result of service suffer from mental health illness.

They draw on each other’s service, skill and attributes from their time in service to help those that are affected by mental health.

The group's work has been supporting the national Team Rubicon response effort to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dean Owen, director of No Duff, said: "We are a community where we help ex-forces, guys and girls and the emergency services, whether it be police, fire, ambulance, NHS staff, animal rscue, RSPCA. We help them with their mental health, we do regular welfare checks on them and see how they're getting on.

"Currently we've got four in employment around St Helens doing various tasks under the banner of Team Rubicon, a national disaster relief organisation."

Military veteran Dean, 45, who is also an ex-prison officer and ex-police officer, added: "We have been going for about 14 months an we just rely on donations."

The name No Duff comes from a military communications term, which means 'This is Not a Drill'.

"We operate a 24-hour helpline. We can speak the same language on the same level on a one-on-one basis," added Dean, from Sutton Heath, who served in Northern Ireland for five years.

"I suffer from PTSD myself and it was through knowing friends and colleagues who have taken their own lives which pushed me to do more."

  • See no-duff.com for more or the Facebook page, or email noduffinfo@gmail.com