Weʼre raising £5,000 to Support the work of Belisama's Retreat - Woodland and riverside retreat for Veteran’s mental health
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Belisama’s Retreat spans four acres of secluded woodland on the banks of the river Ribble near Preston, Lancashire forming a woodland and riverside retreat for Veteran’s mental health . Many Veterans struggle adjusting to civilian life. At Belisama’s we share respite, comradeship, purpose and re-engagement with nature.
Are 11% more likely to suffer from a long-term illness that limits activity;
are 4% more likely to suffer from depression;
those suffering from PTSD are 4% more likely to be convicted of a violent offence;
are 13% more likely to be unemployed;
are twice as likely to misuse alcohol;
have been found to be over-represented in the most severe and enduring types of homelessness.
Little more than lip service is paid to supporting Veterans in need and although there is little in the way of official statistics, the realisation is mounting that the issue of Veteran’s mental health is of pandemic proportions. The burden of support falls upon not for profit organisations and Belisama’s Retreat addresses this clearly defined area of need.
Ecotherapy – clinically proven to improve mental & physical well-being
Ecotherapy is clinically proven to assist mental health recovery and at Belisama’s we employ it to offer respite, space to breathe, re-engagement with wild spaces and an opportunity for Veterans to re-gain their emotional resilience and self-esteem. Belisama’s Retreat employs a clearly defined mechanism to produce positive outcomes:
Pioneering activities based around a woodland “Harbour area” where both Veterans and the general public can learn or rediscover the core skills of campcraft, woodcraft and wilderness living;
Positive involvement of Veterans and other user groups in improving the environment through land management and conservation;
The company of like-minded individuals. Sharing of experiences and self-exploration around the focal point of the campfire;
Engagement with nature, fresh air and space.
Partnership, community & self-sufficiency
Our aim is for the retreat to be financially self-sufficient and have a development plan in place for the next 20 years. This involves working in partnership with the community to rejuvenate our woodland, use its resources for commercial products and make it accessible for a wide range of community groups as an area for shared learning, skills development and recreation.
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About the fundraiser
British Army Veteran & PTSD survivor, Steve Robinson is an explorer, bushcraft specialist & keen proponent of Ecotherapy with significant mentoring, coaching & training experience.