We open every Thursday 12:00-18:00 and work In Partnership with Newport County AFC and Dragons Rugby we started as a community interest group on the 15 November 2019 and set up as a non profit CIC limited by guarantee 1 August 2020. 

Our aim is to bring veterans out of isolation and give them a place to socialise and make new friends creating their own support network. Our organisation is run by a team of volunteers and we have plans to set up as a CIO over the next few months. We support veterans and their families as a unit. 

We also have have a match day Veterans Hub at the Rodney Parade stadium for rugby and football games and are located within the stadium grounds 2hrs before kickoff for every home game with

Newport County 

Newport Dragons 

We then take veterans or a veteran with their family to watch sport, we support veterans that suffer with mental health one to one and will run these days separately. Our hub also opens up opportunities to try and take part in new activities or hobbies they may have not had the opportunity to take part in.   

Both clubs fully support our intuitive and future plans include: 

•We successfully run a project to provide veterans and carers/partners with a hot meal when they attend our hub free of charge and also 2 meals a day for those identified as vulnerable. We supported 29 people with our Nutritious meals project which was funded by Age Cymru and the Welsh Government and successfully delivered 899 meals. Meals cost £3 each and are freshly made. Meals can be warmed by microwave or over and can be cooked from refrigerated or frozen. This was made available to veterans 50+ that were shielding have underlying health conditions that make it difficult for them to cook and manage self care efficiently and made sure that they had 2 nutritious meals a day helping to boost their immune systems and MH. To continue this project we would estimate it would cost 10,000 per year.

  • Strategies to combat suicide in the Veterans community
  • Support with substance misuse  
  • Family days with players / academy from the both clubs
  • Lifestyle & wellbeing sessions to veterans. Those who have experienced (PTSD,  physical injuries , physical disfigurement – including Blesma)
  • To give talks to teams on how they adapted & overcame
  • Annual family sports day
  • Days out for veterans & families once a month
  • Porthcawl veterans hub
  • Woodys lodge
  • CFFC foundation
  • Offer training to veterans and their partners or Carer in mental health first aid up to lv3 and other courses to give them tools to spot the early signs of mental health within their home and to act early
  • Confidence building & work preparation training. A launch pad before being refered to the poppy factory
  • The Poppy Factory
  • Veterans visiting schools, community centres , hospitals & care homes. To give talks on what life had been like (this is prevalent to veterans with mental or physical disabilities giving the veteran a sense of purpose) and how they have adapted & overcame their hurdles. Whilst also opening up what the hub represents and what we are doing for the community
  • Working with Forces Fitness

Our hub is unique in the fact that we have two teams supporting our initiative giving us the opportunity to use rugby & football to tackle a number of issues, including loneliness, isolation, mental health support, wellbeing, help overcoming a fear of crowded places & noisy environments, and we plan to expand on this with the help of other veterans charities and us being able to sign post veterans & their families to them for further support.  

People can offer their support by choosing to support our hub via the Veteransraffle.UK. If we find 55 members through this avenue it will cover our annual costs for our drop in hub. We currently only have 18 subscribers. This is £10pm and will give the opportunity to win £25,000 in their monthly prize draw. 

Our annual cost are £3120. This cost is broken down to £60 per week for use of the stadium’s building and facilities. Match day tickets are provided free of charge by both clubs.

 

Our partnership with Veterans NHS Wales. 

Damon Rees Trustee at NVH will provide as a Peer Mentor with Veterans NHS Wales in (ABUHB). 

Aim: Best use of Peer Mentor to support recovery and improvement of mental health needs of veterans currently on the treatment waiting list. 

Target patient group: 

Veterans who have been assessed by veterans therapist and have been taken on by the team for treatment for service related difficulties.

Within this group, those who are deemed to be benefitted from having short term self-guided therapy and/or low intensity intervention, including behaviour activation, social inclusion and physical activities based interventions.

Veterans who understand and are willing to engage in such interventions. 

Case Management: 

Discussions held between the therapist and the peer mentor to ensure that a joint agreement of suitability as well as intervention goals are established before any engagement. Veterans to be informed that the peer mentor programme is set up as a short term therapeutic intervention to help with their recovery. Peer Mentor should engage with the veterans regularly, during which they will try to use appropriate online programmes/mobile apps (Digital Inclusion), behaviour experiments, social activities, physical activities, psychoeducation etc, to improve resilience and encourage self-healing.

Veterans therapist responsible should review the veterans after 3 sessions and provide brief solution focused therapy to encourage further progress. 

He will also refer to other agencies whom have specialist skills that may be able to provide support to the veterans and do joint meetings with organisations to discuss and provide all round support for the individual.  Therefore ensuring the individual receives bespoke care. 

We offer the opportunity for veterans that struggle in crowded and noisy environments we use our veterans hub open every Thursday 12:00-18:00 to have them within the grounds of the stadium and get them accustomed and familiar with their environment, showing them our seating area and the closest exit points, toilets etc.

This helps to build their confidence to attend our match day hub where we arrive 2hrs before Ko this gives them the opportunity to withdraw from the stadium if they start to feel uncomfortable as the crowds start to come in and it becomes busier. 

We have also received funding from the Lotto awards for all fund to provide fitness and wellness sessions every Thursday 16:00-17:30 veterans are welcome to bring their partners and children to join in with sessions that are tailored for all ages and abilities. Sessions will be run by dragons WRU rugby coaches. This is due to start after 10th May but is to be confirmed. 

We like to invite all veterans whether they need support or not, as by having a mixed group we find that this helps to lift and inspire our members that are not doing so well, helping them with confidence which also improves their mental health and well-being. We are open every week at our drop in hub to offer consistency, and also every home game for both teams.

We also plan to take veterans and their families to visit and to work with other groups such as;

  • CCFC foundation
  • Woodies Lodge at Amelia farm trust
  • Porthcawl Veterans Hub
  • We aim to raise money for a mini bus and plan to expand on this over time

We are sourcing funding for Our project Supporting mental health will provide free training in MH first aid lv1+2. 

Trauma recovery module with active listening and counselling skills for  

3 day first aid at work 

1 day first aid at work 

FASTT this is designed to support families where a family member has experienced trauma, by providing tools to support mental health in the home. This will be available to their partners or Carer and service children 16+. 

This will also be made available to professional support services that also support veterans and their families which will include doctors, mental health workers, support workers, teachers that have service children in their classrooms. 

The idea behind this is to not just strengthen the services provided to veterans and their families but also give the family unit itself the tools and the skill set to be able to spot early signs of mental health within the home, this will significantly improve the chances of early intervention. So if we can teach the service and the partner of the veteran to look out for signs and symptoms of ptsd and other various forms of MH we teach them the tools and give guidance on what forms of support to teach out for and essentially work out what stage they are at. This will greatly improve the chances of a better outcome. 

15 Training courses with up to 180 spaces that will take place on Tuesdays for a total of 21 weeks at Raglan Barracks. This will hugely improve the mental health support that is available in Newport not just for veterans and their families but also other support networks with other community groups so will benefit the community as a whole. 

We are based at Rodney Parade and open every Thursday 12:00-18:00 with social media pages active 7 days a week to support veterans and their families. We anticipate there will be a rise in requests for support with mental health in Newport and would like to share our experience and skill set to train support workers, doctors, teachers and others that work with not just veterans and service families but the community as a whole.  

Training will be provided and delivered by Gareth noble of Noble training solutions ltd who has offered us a huge discount for his services and will be free of charge to everyone eligible. Gareth is a veteran himself of 5 years and is also a trained counsellor and Practicioner in trm and cbt and also worked many years for the prison service as a senior officer Managing the special units. Training manger for 13 children’s care homes 120 staff.

Instructor in MH first aid, Award winning company. 

The total cost of the project will be £5804