Weʼre raising £4,000 to help fund the new therapeutic garden that is currently being built for veterans and their families
- Weymouth, Dorset
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Our organisation is a community project that was set up as a part time venture in late 2017 with the intent of providing a safe and secure location for veterans and their families to come together in an environment that would enable them to socialise in a non-clinical setting in order to provide peer to peer support for each other. Despite Dorset having one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the UK there is, sadly, a distinct lack of veteran orientated support services in the county, especially regarding the mental and physical health side of things. Because of this fact and through my own experiences, we set this project up and very quickly were almost overwhelmed with the number of veterans, and their family members, coming to us in the hopes of finding support and reassurance through people from a similar background. In July 2018 myself and 2 others made the decision to take the project full-time following several tragic veteran suicides over a very short period in our area of operations. We can’t say for sure that if we had been a full-time project at the time of these former soldiers taking their own lives that things would have been different for them, however we do strongly believe that by being open to veterans 6 days a week that we have made a difference to some that potentially could have chosen the same path. Essentially, we are saying to veterans and their families that they are not alone and that there is a whole ‘military’ family out there that will dig out for them.
Fast forward almost 1 year and we have now taken over a large outdoor space that is currently being landscaped and when completed will be used as a therapeutic space compromising of a purpose-built gym, allotments and a relaxation/sensory area. In addition to this we now support 60+ veterans and their family members from across Dorset while being a genuine asset to the local community; our café is open during daytime hours to all of the public and we encourage people from all backgrounds to make use of our facilities and enjoy the space that we have created.
It’s worth pointing out that one of the reasons we believe that our project works is because we are not a traditional support organisation – our aim is not to replicate or replace established and proven organisations but instead compliment them by providing a true community Hub that offers a friendly ear and a decent brew to those that need it, in a non-judgemental environment run by people who live with mental health difficulties on a day to day basis. For those that need more we have worked hard to build good relationships with existing organisations that has enabled us to effectively signpost to people better placed to offer support.
We are an open book and welcome anyone who wishes to visit The Veterans Hub to see first-hand how we work - only by working together can we make a difference to those that need it.
The following links will take you to our social media pages so that you can take a look at what we are asking you to support.
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Andrew Price started crowdfunding