Change Step service user Edna “Teddy” Leon has hit an exceptional milestone of age 100 and our we were thrilled to help make it a day to remember.
Edna initially joined the military as an Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) Chef where she served in an Army Training Regiment (ATR) in Wrexham at Hermitage Barracks before moving on to work in the military abroad. Change Step first met Edna whilst working on a project that was funded by The ABF ‘The Soldier’s charity’. She began receiving support from one of our Change Step Peer Mentors, Roger “Brummie” Lees, in November 2018. She needed a mentor and friend who she could talk to and connect her past experiences with. Roger has stated “I, like many of the mentors within the Change Step organisation who have conversed with Edna (Teddy), all our hearts have been stolen by this enchanting lady, she is magical. Over the period of the last two years, I have come to know, respect and admire this lady’s grit and determination”. In August 2019, Change Step in conjunction with the RBL commissioned a book that consisted of veteran’s stories and was placed into print for donation to schools and libraries so their stories will never be forgotten. Edna contributed her story to that book expressing her time and experiences in the military as well as being featured on the front cover.
On Edna’s birthday, the 16th of December, she was surprised with a small celebration, organised by Roger and the Change Step team with guests also being invited to attend via Zoom. She received several generous gift donations to celebrate her birthday. The Ospreys team sent a Birthday video full of wishes and a signed Ospreys shirt which the Tommy Club sent a birthday card full of wishes, a life size silhouette Tommy, and a silver award and a lifetime membership of the Tommy Club. She also received two personalised painting by David De Souza and Kirsten Orsborn the Welsh Armed Forces Sweetheart put together a recording full of Vera Llyns War time hits along with a special message. The event was also covered by Emma Grant as a main feature on Radio South Wales.
Edna was thrilled with her 100th birthday celebrations, and Change Step are truly humbled to have gotten to know her over the past two years and to have been there to be a part of her special day.
Change Step offers effective support for veterans, their families and carers in Wales-enabling them to access vital support services and tackle serious stress and related
issues. Our team of Peer Mentors use their own experiences to help fellow veterans and their loves ones confront challenges in their lives and manage their journeys of recovery.
If you were a member of the UK Armed Forces, whether full-time or reserve, and want to know more about how Change Step could support you and your family, head over to our website.