On behalf of the nation, Help for Heroes made a promise to support wounded veterans and their families for as long as they need it. We have remained responsive to the changing needs of wounded veterans and reflected best practice developments in service delivery, adapting our support to meet vital gaps in care provision over the past 14 years.
In September 2020 we made the decision to not operate out of three of the recovery centres for the foreseeable future, while intending to trial a return to face-to-face delivery at Tedworth House as and when Covid-19 restrictions allowed. This was based on the impact and reach that we have seen from moving to community face-to-face and digital services to empower more veterans around the UK to live secure and healthy lives with purpose.
We have been negotiating with the MOD and are pleased to have reached an agreement where all four Help for Heroes recovery centres, including Tedworth House, will be operated and funded by the MOD for the next 12 months. As such, they will continue to provide core recovery activities for serving personnel who are wounded, injured or sick.
We recognise that the centres are special places and have been an important part of the recovery journey for a lot of people. We are pleased they will continue to be part of the journey for serving personnel, improving their recovery pathway, as the MOD takes on responsibility for the centres. This means we can direct our funds to fully focus on supporting veterans and their families in the best way possible for them.
All our services and support priorities remain the same, to enable recovery progression, choice and independence for wounded veterans. This agreement enables us to direct funding towards skilled, specialist teams and deliver services that help veterans achieve their goals and integrate into their communities. All services will continue, with those that were delivered at a recovery centre simply changing to a community location. Our focus now and ongoing is on increasing delivery of the same types of face-to-face support in the community, as was previously accessed at a recovery centre, as well as increasing digital access to our life-changing services.
Taking a snapshot of our work during 9 weeks from January to early March 2021, Sport, Activity and Fellowship teams delivered 190 digital events for nearly 300 individuals. There were over 1000 ‘places’ filled, reflecting veterans and families wanting to participate in several different opportunities or returning for more.
We’ve received positive feedback from veterans and families about the digitally delivered support we have provided so far:
“it has been a great source of positivity and has really helped me and my partner feel like there’s some other people out there and we aren’t alone. So, thank you and we will continue to attend and get involved if we are welcome as it is having such a major impact on us.”
“Thank you for the other evening, I feel it really helped me. I am joining Alex’s class next week. I just really lack motivation at the moment but taking small steps. I would like to join in with the walking in the near future/ I cannot believe how I use to be so fit and now I am unfit. Stay safe thank for your help, I really appreciate it.”
“it is lovely to have that time to myself and to just have a natter with people that ‘know’.”
“You have all been doing an amazing job for us, and I know you will continue to do so.”
“Can I please begin by thanking so very much indeed for facilitating and organising the virtual get teams togethers. They are truly a great support for us, and I hope that they can continue into the future as an effective way of keeping in touch with our tribe.”
We have face to face (in-person) regional activities planned from 12 April 2021, subject to restrictions in each location. These initial activities April to June are aimed at helping people take steps to return to ‘normality’, to connect with each other, and form or rekindle friendships for mutual support. In gradually restarting social activities we’ll be providing opportunities to boost mental and physical well-being, cut through the boredom and isolation that people might be feeling, help with motivation and promote positive feelings around returning to activity and groups. We know that regular movement, activity and connection with peers is key to leading a happy and healthy life.
For those newly seeking help from Help for Heroes, they can access support via the Get Support page of our website: https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support/get-support-today/ or please use the following Get Support numbers:
South and South East England - 01980 844238
East of England and Midlands - 01206 814892
South West England and Wales - 01752 562179
North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland - 01980 844238