Children from a Chippenham school enjoyed meeting wounded, injured and sick war veterans and serving personnel during a visit to a Help for Heroes Recovery Centre.
Pupils from Ivy Lane Primary School in Chippenham spent the day at Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, Tedworth House, in Tidworth, earlier this month as part of their outdoor woodland curriculum.
Tedworth House is one of four Recovery Centres run by the military charity, which gives direct and practical support to current and former members of the Armed Forces who are wounded, injured and sick. During their day at the Recovery Centre, the fifty pupils spent time in the 20-acre woodland enjoying activities such as sport skills, pond dipping, making woodland creatures and a treasure hunt.
Alannah Heneghan, Year 3 pupil, said: “Tedworth House was brilliant. We went pond dipping and I found heaps of snail eggs. We also made butterfly and dragonfly sculptures out of bendy wire. In the Sports Hall we did skipping, bowling, balancing, bouncing and basketball. Finally we took part in a treasure hunt and found Hero Bear.”
Giles Woodhouse, Centre Manager at Tedworth House, said it was a privilege to host Ivy Lane for the day.
“It was wonderful to see how much the children from Ivy Lane enjoyed spending time at Tedworth House whilst at the same time learning more about the sacrifices of our Armed Forces personnel and their recovery challenges.
“Outdoor education is becoming a firm favourite as part of the recovery at Tedworth House and allows the wounded, injured and sick to spend time outdoors, developing their personal, social and technical skills.
“We are so fortunate to have the wonderful woodland facility on site and I am pleased with how well it is being utilised for vital recovery activities, as well as for community engagement initiatives such as the one with Ivy Lane."
Tedworth House runs established horticultural and woodland courses for wounded veterans and serving personnel as part of its recovery programme and is looking to support outdoor vocational opportunities in the future for veterans seeking a new career.
“Spending time outdoors is therapeutic and our `Blokes` seemed to thoroughly enjoy teaching younger children outdoor skills. For some, this may ignite passion for a new career, something we can support through our Career Recovery services” Giles added.
Chris Cannings, Ivy Lane Headteacher, added: “The staff and residents of Tedworth House were amazing hosts and ensured the children had a very enjoyable day. It was such a success, that I have had a stream of parents and children coming to say thank you for such a unique and fantastic experience. “
Help for Heroes actively encourages young children to get involved with fundraising. To find out more, visit our Hero Kids webpages.