Lochgelly exhibition showcases Creative Force of injured Scots veterans and their families

Among the exhibitors is Julie Martin-Davy, from Glenrothes, whose husband Mark was injured in 2009 on a training exercise while serving with the Royal Signals.
Among the exhibitors is Julie Martin-Davy, from Glenrothes, whose husband Mark was injured in 2009 on a training exercise while serving with the Royal Signals.

Around 20 injured and sick Scots veterans, service personnel and their families are having their work showcased in a creative exhibition which opens next week.

The Creative Force exhibition, organised by Help for Heroes, will run at the Lochgelly Centre from Saturday, August 31 to Saturday, September 14.

Ken De Soyza, from Kirkcaldy, is displaying his photography.

Ken De Soyza, from Kirkcaldy, is displaying his photography.

It includes paintings, pottery, photography, poetry and woodwork, some of which have been created by Fifers.

All of the exhibitors are members of Help for Heroes peer support networks Band of Brothers and Band of Sisters, and among the exhibitors is Kirkcaldy veteran Ken de Soyza, who is displaying his photography.

Having served 22 years in the RAF, Ken was hit by a car in August 2016 while cycle training for trials for the 2017 Invictus Games, suffering serious injuries, including loss of power in his left arm and a brachial plexus injury. His upper limb paralysis affected his ability to handle a cycle safely.

His wife bought him a camera to aid his recovery and encourage him to get out the house.

He said: “My camera gets me out more often and further afield because I have a reason to go out and I enjoy the results. I love the challenge of taking photographs of wildlife and insects.

“I am one handed ebcause of limited use of my hand and arm and I struggle with pain, but I endeavour to overcome this to get my shot.

“Whilst setting up and waiting for my subject to cooperate, I can focus on something other than the pain or whatever is on my mind.”

Julie Martin-Davy (40), from Glenrothes, is also exhibiting. Her husband Mark was injured in 2009 on a training exercise while serving with the Royal Signals.

He suffered lower spinal damage which has resulted in him being in constant pain and needing to use a wheelchair, which has impacted on his mental health.

Julie is Mark’s carer when she isn’t working and art is her only respite.

Julie studied graphic design at Fife College and planned to study it at degree level when she married Mark, but moving to wherever they were stationed made it difficult to continue her education.

In 2017, the opportunity to design a Christmas card for Help for Heroes reignited her love of art and gave her confidence to use her talents again. Julie was then selected to exhibit in a national Creative Force exhibition in London and is delighted her work is now going to be on show in Fife.

She said: “I am delighted that it is part of the first Scottish Creative Force exhibition and hope it will inspire other veterans and their carers to explore their creative side!”