Graduate Peyton nominated as one of TV Lorraine's Inspirational Women

A woman who lost her soldier dad to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been revealed as a finalist in the Inspirational Woman of the Year award run by ITV’s Lorraine Kelly.


Peyton Melling, who graduated in Youth Work and Community Development at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) in 2015, has devoted herself to campaigning in her father’s memory to help others affected by PTSD and their families.

Hundreds of nominations were received for the ITV competition, with judges Lorraine Kelly, fundraiser Victoria Milligan, lawyer Mirian Gonzalez Durantez and singer Katherine Jenkins choosing the final three. It now goes to a public telephone vote to choose the winner.

To vote for Peyton, call 0330 123 6201. Lines close at 10am on Monday.

ITV presenter Dr Hilary Jones surprised Peyton live on camera to tell her she was a finalist.

She said: “I’m still in shock I can’t believe it really, especially watching the other ladies who have been nominated. It’s a bit of a whirlwind.”  

Peyton lost her dad David to suicide in 2016. He had been in the Army for 25 years, doing tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and the Gulf with the 1st Royal Tank Regiment.

Although he had been diagnosed with PTSD, his family did not know he had the condition until after his death. Peyton said she was determined to do something in his memory so other people would not have to go through the same pain.

She said: “I just decided I wanted to raise awareness and how important it was to speak out and for people to realise there’s help out there.”

She discovered the charity Combat Stress, which helps Army personnel and their families and this year completed an 83 mile hike in the Scottish Highlands for cause, raising more than £2,000.

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During her time at DMU, Peyton had a placement at New College, Leicester, as part of DMU Square Mile’s work with the school. She was offered a job as a learning and behaviour mentor as soon as she graduated and only finished in July to begin her Master’s in psychotherapy.

Peyton plans to be a full time counsellor to carry on her work helping others. She said: “I don’t know why but I have always looked after people, mum tells me I was the same when I was younger. It’s what I enjoy doing and I want to do more fundraising and raise awareness of PTSD.

“I’m just really happy that I have made it this far and I feel honoured to be alongside two women who have done so much.”

The winners will be decided by public vote and the winning 2017 Inspirational Woman of the Year announced on Tuesday on ITV Lorraine.

Posted on Friday 13th October 2017

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