Wounded, injured and sick servicemen spent a week in the great outdoors on a green woodland course as part of their recovery.
Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, Tedworth House, ran a week-long green woodwork course which saw wounded heroes learn how to make a shaving horse and wooden stool from materials found in the on-site woodland.
Outdoor education is becoming a firm favourite as part of the recovery at Tedworth House, in Tidworth, and allows the wounded, injured and sick to spend time outdoors, developing their personal, social and technical skills. The course, run by Oliver Weight, was also an inspirational way to facilitate confidence building in those with physical and psychological injuries, in a woodland environment.
Veteran Josh Campbell took part in the course and said it was an “amazing experience.” Private Josh Campbell was coming to the end of his 6 month tour in Afghanistan September 2009 where he was serving with 23 Pioneer Regiment, RLC. Whilst on a routine vehicle resupply in the Babaji district of central Helmand, Josh’s vehicle drove over an IED. The explosion caused the vehicle to roll on its side and Josh lost both of his legs.
“The course provided an escape for me and all of the others who took part,” he said. “When you are that focused on something, trying something completely new, you forget about everything else and just really concentrate.
“The course had a clear objective, to make a shaving horse and then use that to make a stool, which gave us all a real sense of purpose. All of the materials we used were ones we collected ourselves from the woods, it really added to the ownership of what we were making.
“There is something really therapeutic about woodwork and especially spending time in the outdoors .The course reinforced to me that no matter how badly injured you are, you should always try something new and you can always develop new skills which can last a lifetime.”
Mr Weight said the course at Tedworth House was the most enjoyable he has ever run.
“The men who took part were really inspirational,” he said. “They are all so used to working as a team so the camaraderie was exceptional. No matter what their injury, they all got really stuck in and the results of what they produced at the end of the course were incredible.”
Giles Woodhouse, Centre Manager at Tedworth House, said: “Josh has superbly encapsulated the many benefits of this type of outdoor activity in assisting the recovery of our wounded, injured and sick heroes. We are so fortunate to have the wonderful woodland facility on site and I am pleased to see how well it is being utilised for vital recovery activities."