Veterans and staff at Chavasse VC House, the  Help for Heroes Recovery Centre based in Colchester, lent a helping hand to RSPCA Danaher Animal Home on Wednesday 29 January 2014 as part of their Pathfinder course, a week long experience offering a personalised approach to moving into the civilian world, designed for wounded, injured and long term sick veterans. The programme uses professional career analysts, psychologists and support staff as well as mentors to inspire, enable and support participants to a more positive future.

The group met RSPCA Centre Manager, Deborah Satchell, who set them to work on a range of tasks including painting rooms, laying new paths, sorting donations and assembling dog beds all of which would directly benefit the animal charity’s volunteers, staff and, of course, the animals waiting to be rehomed. 

Pathfinder brings together all elements of life to ensure a complete and successful transition and offers the opportunity to participate in a range of placements with top companies and voluntary organisations. The main aims of the RSPCA visit were to get the six veterans active as well as utilise their organisational, logistical and team working skills developed during their time in the Army, Navy or RAF. 

An opportunity to utilise skills 

Veteran, Simon Taylor, said:“It was great to be able to put our skills to good use; just knowing the animals would directly benefit from our work today means a lot. This experience was exactly what the lads needed, it gave us a break from the norm and we’re grateful to Chavasse VC House for allowing us the opportunity to give something back following the amazing support they have given us.”

Speaking at the end of the day, Deborah Satchell said:“I and my team of staff and volunteers at RSPCA Danaher are over the moon with the work the heroes put in. It has already made a difference and allowed us more time to focus on the animals. I cannot thank them enough.”

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