Northern Ireland | Alex's Update
As February draws to a close, it is lovely to say that we have enjoyed a varied range of activities. On 31 January, 8 ladies were treated to a session of afternoon tea at Belfast Castle. The day felt like a special occasion with delicious treats and wonderful views. It was a lovely opportunity for guests to relax and “talk to people who understand". They say talking is the best therapy and it is even more the case when cake is involved!
It was great to see so many of you at the get-together in Bangor on Wednesday 8 February. 21 guests turned up which is very impressive. There were a few new faces and we enjoyed a good catch up over tea, coffee and shortbread.
The Fellowship Photography Project, a new and exciting recovery activity launched in February, is an activity that offers a holistic approach to recovery for the 19 members involved. The group meets on a regular basis and assists members in developing their photography skills by working alongside peers and enjoying each other’s company. The group will learn practical theory and technique by working in a studio and will then put these new skills to use when travelling to various scenic locations and capturing great images. The group will work towards an exhibition in 2018 which will highlight veteran’s topics. The first group meeting took place on Thursday 9 February and was a chance for introductions and to discuss plans. On Thursday 16 February, the group explored the beautiful Belfast city centre, photographing its grand, historic buildings and sights.
The BoB/BoS kiddies thoroughly enjoyed an interactive activity over the half-term break, on 17 February. Nick at Jumping Clay studios hosted a fantastic workshop and taught the little ones how to make their own octopus friend, using their play-doh-like clay. One parent explained how “the kids really enjoyed it and haven't stopped playing with the little octopus they made.”
Whilst the kids were entertained, BoB/BoS parents and grandparents took the opportunity to take in the Ulster Museum displays and enjoy a coffee or two.
North East | Harriet's update
We kicked off the yearly events with a coffee morning here at Phoenix House on Wednesday 25 January where we had 8 Band of Brothers and Sisters attend. We all enjoyed some lovely scones and a good chin wag. Two weeks later we enjoyed our second coffee morning here where we were treated by Carolyne and her amazing cakes. I don’t think I have ever seen a cake so big or taste so delicious before, Carolyne you can definitely come again!
On Thursday the 16 February we had a wonderful tour around Preston Park Museum in Stockton. We had a very own tour guide that took us around the museum and showed us some of the amazing history, including remains of Stockton Castle built, they believe, to keep the Scots away. We had 7 attendees in total including little Eliza who looked like she thoroughly enjoyed herself exploring the museum. We finished the morning off with some delicious cream and jam scones just in time for lunch.
What an amazing time we all had at our Pancake Practice here at Phoenix House. Everyone got completely involved. Our lovely chef came and helped us mix up our batter and fry off our pancakes (we did have a few failed attempts at the flip!).
North West | Kevin's update
February has been a busy month travelling back and forth over the North West meeting as many BoB/BoS as possible. I was lucky to present to 40 GPs this month at Tameside Hospital about the Band of Brothers and Band of Sisters Fellowship.
Activity I’m planning – Feedback from BoB/BoS looking at bike rides across the North West and photography courses. If anybody has any ideas please touch base with me on firstname.lastname@example.org
So what have I been up to this month - February has been a busy month travelling back and forth over the North West meeting as many BoB/BoS as possible. We have had meetings in Manchester and Cumbria and I have really loved the conversation that has happened at both events. THANK YOU!
I presented to over 40 GP’s about BoB/BoS and how they can engage more with veterans and offer them priority care. The meeting helped some doctors to reconsider putting a simple question for new patient’s forms. “Have you ever served in the Armed Forces?”
On the meeting we had some great discussions and ethical questions were posed like “Why should veterans get priority care over doctors, police and fireman?” What are your thoughts on that?
Other Military Charity Catch Up - I have been busy networking with so many military charities about how we can all work together and how we are all working to make a difference in a veterans’ lives. Evo’s presentation about Adventure Quest UK was really good and I am hoping many BoB/BoS have a look at the course.
Next Month’s new catch up - I am coming to Preston and am searching for ideal locations to hold a BoB/BoS meeting. Ideally I would be looking for use of a community room, with great access and parking - if you live in Preston please let me know if you know of anywhere. Please email me on email@example.com
My training to support you better - Next month I will be attending courses and learning more about H4H and how I can help support you more on the ground. We have an exciting team meeting at Tedworth House to discuss the findings of the focus groups to see how we can deliver a better service to you all.
As always this is YOUR fellowship so I am more than happy to hear what you would like to see more/less of in the North West. Please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and every email is read and all feedback is greatly appreciated.Take me back to Bandstand