Alix Hale was eight years old when her world imploded. It was 2009, the bloodiest year of the Afghanistan conflict and her father, Captain Mark Hale, was in Helmand Province with his regiment, 2 Rifles. While providing security for a group of Afghan elders, an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated, injuring three of Mark’s soldiers. Mark fought to retrieve his boys, but a second device was triggered and in the ensuing explosion, Mark and his soldiers were killed.

Our charity supported Alix’s family at this tragic time. According to Alix, this provided “continuity in a world that had been blown to pieces.”

Now 17 and a Sergeant in the Cadets, Alix plans to take on a fundraising abseil for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity at the Europa Hotel in Belfast.

Alix says: “The Soldiers’ Charity stepped into my father’s shoes and supported my family. They paid for my school fees for the next three years, giving me the safety net, security and space that all parents want for their young children.

“Without their support I have no doubt I wouldn’t be where I am today, about to hang off a hotel in Belfast as way of saying ‘thank you’ to a charity that has stayed with my family since that life-saving day in August 2009.”

We are incredibly proud of Alix and grateful to her and the Hale family for their unerring support for our charity. Through the work of supporters like Alix, we are able to continue providing timely, confidential support for soldiers, veterans and their families in need – enabling them to lead lives of independence and dignity, now and in the future.

If you would like to support Alix’s abseil, you can visit her Just Giving page: