Andy’s wars may be over, but his campaigning continues, this time the enemy is social issues!
In October 2009, Corporal Andy Reid MBE stepped on a Taliban improvised explosive device while on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Injured so badly that it was thought he would not survive, he defied the odds to the extent that, within a month, he was able to meet up with members of his patrol again. Since then as a triple amputee, he has gone on to carry out many arduous challenges to raise money and give back to the associations that helped him and his family through difficult times.
He is proud to have served, but his experiences in life and as a triple amputee have taught him that not all enemies carry a gun. Andy was both a young carer and suffered from being dyslexic at school. His following time in the army saw him on peacekeeping missions and frontline service, where eventually he was to encounter an IED which would dramatically change his life forever. And as a veteran, Andy appreciates what it means to wear a uniform and the potential adverse outcomes of transitioning to a civilian life. This ‘lived experience’ makes him uniquely qualified to understand the pressures and stresses of the people in our communities he primarily wishes to help.
To assist him in his endeavours, Andy and his friend John Tabern (now CEO) set up the Standing Tall Foundation in March of 2020, perhaps the worst time in modern history to do so. With little in the way of resources and funding they set about assisting people on an individual basis. Along the way they tackled homelessness, attempted suicide, job loss, depression and various mental health scenarios, much of it at their own expense and time. Each fresh case presented a whole new set of circumstances to deal with and resolve or put measures in place to help.
Now the Standing Tall Foundation has progressed to offering structured programmes of help from its STF Hub on Borough Rd in St Helens, whilst still maintaining its ability to intervene on a personal and individual level.