Landmarc is a proud sponsor of Team Emotive in its mission to complete one of the world’s most difficult ocean rowing challenges – the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – all in the name of raising money for mental health charity, Veterans at Ease. Watch our film to find out more about why our support is so important.

Pictured, L to R is Jason Watkin, Garreth Murrell, Chris Harvey and Stephen Lees with boat Oardrey who will  take on one of the world’s most difficult ocean rowing challenges to raise money and awareness for mental health charity Veterans at Ease.

Made up of four Armed Forces veterans, Team Emotive is preparing to travel 3,000 miles from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the race in December 2022. Rowing two hours on, two hours off for forty days, this challenge will push the team to its limits both physically and mentally.

Area Delivery Manager at Landmarc and Royal Navy Veteran Jason Watkin, based at Wathgill Camp in the North, will be heading up the boat as Skipper, accompanied by Garreth Murrell – veteran and CEO of Veterans at Ease, Royal Artillery veteran Chris Harvey and Parachute Regiment veteran Stephen Lees.

The forty day row will see the team experience an average weight loss of a staggering 15kg each, despite consuming 60kcal per kg of body weight, per person, per day.

Completely unassisted, the team will have to carry absolutely everything required for the trip onboard, including all equipment, food and non-biodegradable waste that is produced. Any waste left unaccounted for at the end of the challenge will result in instant disqualification.

Two support yachts will be on standby if the team get into difficulties, but this could be up to five days away while out at sea – meaning the team of four will be completely reliant on manpower, their vessel and the elements.

Each team member has had their own individual struggles with mental health and are now beneficiaries of the charity Veterans at Ease. CEO Garreth Murrell founded the charity after completing a series of therapy sessions and going on to become a practitioner himself.

Veterans at Ease is a free to use service, committed to helping veterans, reservists, serving military personnel and their families deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat stress-related issues.

Garreth comments, “A unique benefit of coming to Veterans at Ease is that we employ veteran practitioners. This ensures those who need our help can speak to someone who ‘gets it’ – there’s so much to be said for talking to someone who can relate directly to your personal experiences, and even have a bit of banter with us too.”

Team member and Parachute Regiment veteran, Stephen Lees, is blind and hoping the challenge will make him a world record holder. Having lost 95 per cent of his sight due to illness, Stephen has been spending a lot of time on board Oardrey, getting to know the layout, routines and procedures inside out – even creating a replica of the boat in his loft.

Jason Watkin, says, “Our passion for mental health support and the Veterans at Ease charity keeps us motivated. As someone who has used the service first-hand, I know just how important fundraising can be.

“Landmarc has been fantastic throughout the preparations to date, not only through sponsorship but also in pledging help in any way it can to get us to the start line.”

Mark Neill, Managing Director at Landmarc, adds, “Mental health is something that affects us all at some point in our lives, particularly in our sector of work. At Landmarc, we are committed to supporting both our employees and the Armed Forces community wherever we can – both in and outside of our day-to-day business operations. 25% of Landmarc’s workforce is made up of veterans and reservists, including myself, meaning we know just how important it is for mental health organisations like Veterans at Ease to have backing from amazing fundraisers such as Team Emotive.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be able to announce Landmarc as the main sponsor for Team Emotive on Armed Forces Week, pledging our support and admiration for our very own Jason Watkin and the whole team. We hope others will hear about the team’s individual journeys that got them to where they are today and feel inspired to join us in support of their new challenge.”