Help for Heroes doesn’t just support serving personnel, highlighted last month as the 200th veteran to stay at Tedworth House passed through its doors since opening in July 2011.
Veterans are individuals who have become wounded, injured or sick during their service in current conflicts, or have subsequently developed a service-attributable condition post-discharge, such as PTSD.
During their time at Help for Heroes run Recovery Centre, Tedworth House, veterans are able to meet with welfare support officers who can direct them to any support they may need. This can range from creating an opportunity for work experience with a partner charity, to booking them in for a hearing test, to finding the time for a listening ear with the psychological well-being team on-site.
Over the years, we’ve made changes to how we deliver support as our understanding of the mental and physical health needs of veterans has improved. We know that the best outcomes happen when individuals gain the knowledge and tools to manage their condition and create a strong support network within their local community.
In 2021 we reached an agreement with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for all four Help for Heroes recovery centres, including Tedworth House, to be operated and funded by the Ministry of Defence for 12 months. They are being used to deliver core recovery activities to wounded service personnel. In March 2022, this agreement was extended as we continue to work on a longer-term agreement.
We are delivering face-to-face support in people’s homes and communities, as well as online. This allows us to reach more veterans and families across the UK. We are delivering the same services in a more accessible way.
We recognise that the centres are special places and have been an important part of a lot of people’s recovery journeys. We are pleased they will continue to play a crucial role in the rehabilitation of injured Armed Forces personnel.
Lee was one of the first residents at Tedworth House as a serving soldier and recently returned as a veteran, exemplifying Help for Heroes support for life pledge; “I came to the House through the Army, left and then came back as a veteran and got the same support as everyone else. You don’t realise how much you need help – but they are always there for a shoulder to lean on. Words cannot express how amazing the team at Tedworth are.”
There is no such thing as a typical week at Tedworth but each veteran receives a bespoke individual recovery plan and support during and after their stay. Veterans can also take advantage of the Rolling Recovery Programme by trying a range of sports and activities that may open doors to future employment opportunities or new interests.
Having been told he would never work again, veteran George Frost who suffers from PTSD enjoyed the arts and crafts classes so much during his time at Tedworth that he is hoping to have a workshop built in his garden to continue painting and creating clay models at home.
Other activities available for veterans to explore including rowing, gardening, drumming, song writing, yoga, fishing, woodland management activities and creative writing classes – to name a few! It takes courage to be open-minded enough to try the many activities on offer to see what best helps each individual with their recovery. For many, the activity they take to the most is the thing they were least expecting! Having been medically discharged after 33 years’ service in the RAF, veteran Barry Mills found the creative writing class particularly beneficial and now thoroughly enjoys writing poetry in his spare time.
Recovery Centre Manager Giles Woodhouse says; “We are delighted that Tedworth House is supporting so many veterans. It is vital that the facilities we offer are available to wounded, injured and sick personnel even after they are no longer serving with the military”.
We continue to offer help and support to veterans and their families. Will you support us in this mission?