“My friends just didn’t understand our lifestyle. It’s been a relief to meet with others who are supporting their veteran. I don’t feel judged here; just accepted”
Leaving the military can often be a difficult transition for service personnel. The sense of purpose, identity and belonging to a team that the military generates can evaporate upon medical discharge.
Help for Heroes' Colchester Recovery Centre’s first-ever couple’s wellbeing activity break bought together veterans for peer support and was a chance for their partner to feel integrated into the Help for Heroes family.
The 3-day break at the local Five Lakes Crowne Plaza Resort kicked off with an hour on the driving range and putting green with a golf professional.
The couples then got competitive when they played a round of golf on the course – with the couples working together to try and win the game.
“The break really helped me to connect with my husband away from the daily grind of everyday life. Participating in activities together has given me a better understanding of how his mind works and has brought us closer together as a result.”
Day 2 included a zombie-themed escape room. Although the code wasn’t broken - nobody seemed to mind as laughter ensued as the group tried to solve various puzzles.
The afternoon took a slower pace and the couples were treated to an Introduction to Indian Head Massage where they learned how to massage aches, pains and tensions away.
Later that evening a salsa lesson got everyone dancing – with one couple vowing to look for a local salsa club back home to continue their new skill.
"The couples wellbeing activity break introduced me to others in similar situations. We all got on really well and forged friendships which will provide good support in the future.”
On day 3, after an aerobics lesson, a top chef taught the group how to make bread, pizza, potato salad, couscous and fruit salad. Couples then worked together to create their own lunches; you've never seen so many toppings crammed onto a pizza!
“We were concentrating on various activities but without realising it were engaging with each other. Being out in the fresh air and getting some level of exercise has helped enhance my wellbeing. I’m really grateful to Help for Heroes for this opportunity”.
If you feel that these activities like this may benefit you or your family then find out more information on how to get involved here: https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support/get-support/
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