**COVID-19 SERVICE UPDATE**

**COVID-19 SERVICE UPDATE**

**COVID-19 SERVICE UPDATE** We hope you’re all keeping well and safe during what is clearly a worrying time. Change Step will continue to offer our services as widely as we can and have, where possible, adapted our provision to take account of the current situation and the continuing danger of Covid-19. Our services are continuing to operate and most are able to accept new referrals with modified operating procedures. Although we have been forced to close many of our offices, we are able to offer support remotely, using telephone and technology to contact and continue to reach those in need and in isolation. Our telephone lines remain staffed so please do contact us with any queries about our services.   Discover more Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with what we’re up to and join the conversation. Twitter Follow facebook...
Celebrating our Aged Veterans project

Celebrating our Aged Veterans project

  Celebrating our Aged Veterans project Change Step hosted celebration dinners in Cardiff and Llandudno to mark the success of our Aged Veterans project. Dozens of older veterans, their family members and carers joined our staff, volunteers and partners for the free special events, held at the Copthorne and Imperial hotels.   Stories of Service The celebrations marked the achievements of our Aged Veterans project over the last three and a half years – and marked the launch of our new book, Stories of Service, a collection of memories and reminiscences from a number of project participants. Our project helps older veterans live an active and fulfilling life by providing information, activities and one-on-one support. We offer a range of interventions, telephone and community befriending, digital inclusion training, and much more.   Vital support The project, which was delivered in Cardiff, Conwy and Denbighshire, has provided vital support to 159 former members of our Armed Forces, plus 39 additional beneficiaries including two children. Some 58% of beneficiaries were aged 80 or over, with 14% aged 95 or older.  At the start of their engagment with us, seven in ten older veterans reported mental health concerns combined with social isolation.   Our free guide for older veterans Perhaps you would like more help to navigate veterans services, or you have concerns about a relative or someone you care for who is an older veteran?  Our guide provides vital information about and links to organisations that can provide easy access to the support older veterans need. Click here to download your free guide, and to see how other veterans have made...
Cardiff care home honours the fallen with Change Step

Cardiff care home honours the fallen with Change Step

Cardiff care home honours the fallen with Change Step RESIDENTS AT a Cardiff care home honoured the fallen at their own Service of Remembrance – with the support of veterans peer mentoring service Change Step Staff at Hafod’s Woodcroft Care Home, in​ Trowbridge, decided to host the commemoration after discovering that many of the over-55s they support were veterans or had links to the military. The 60-bed home fell quiet as residents stood in silence to remember those who fell in conflict. The service also featured a bugler, standard bearers from the Royal British Legion, hymns and prayers, and a presence from the Royal Welsh based at nearby Maindy Barracks.   ‘Amazing and emotional’ Home manager Elaine Mather said the Remembrance events marked the culmination of weeks of activity by Woodcroft residents, including dressing mannequins in period uniform and creating a poppy cascade. It was an amazing and emotional morning, and we were happy to see over 80 people come including those from Change Step Aged Veterans. Our residents, some of whom have a connection to the military, really appreciated this.  I would like to thank everybody who got involved and came along for their wonderful support. Elaine Mather Manager, Woodcroft Care Home   Change Step works with more than 20 other organisations across Wales to support veterans, their families and carers facing serious stress – and offers dedicated support for older veterans in Cardiff, Conwy and Denbighshire. The Aged Veterans project has been supported by the Royal British Legion, and includes a drop-in session for older ex-service personnel at the Ely and Caerau Community Hub between 10am and...
Gold employer award recognises commitment to veterans

Gold employer award recognises commitment to veterans

  Gold employer award recognises commitment to veterans CHANGE STEP HAS BEEN awarded the highest honour for organisations which support those who serve, veterans, and their families. We were named as one of 100 employers to earn the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme’s Gold Award by the UK’s defence minister Ben Wallace. The accolade recognises our long-standing commitment to supporting current and former members of the Armed Forces – and was awarded through our parent charity, CAIS. Since its inception just over five years ago, Change Step has supported more than 2,000 veterans and their families throughout Wales – many facing serious and significant health and mental health challenges related to their service. Change Step – which generates around £7 in social value for each pound spent – has been repeatedly highlighted as an example of best practice, and has forged a wide range of valuable partnerships with the private, public and third sectors in Wales.   Leading model Since 2013, we have recruited more than 35 former members of the UK Armed Forces to become part of our dedicated veteran-to-veteran mentoring team. Many of these recruits have their own experiences of the challenges facing veterans – and have been able to continue their recoveries, and develop their careers and prospects, with us. Change Step director Geraint Jones said he was delighted that CAIS had joined a list of only 228 employers to have been handed the honour. This is a significant and high-profile accolade for the vital advocacy and support work CAIS and Change Step have done and continue to do with and on behalf of veterans...
Snowdonia weekend of wellbeing and adventure

Snowdonia weekend of wellbeing and adventure

    Snowdonia weekend of wellbeing and adventure VETERANS FROM ACROSS South Wales enjoyed a weekend of adventure in the mountains and on the water during a four-day expedition to Snowdonia. A group of 13 participants tackled a host of activities as they fished, walked and kayaked their way around the national park. All veterans taking part receive effective peer mentoring and recovery support from Change Step. They were joined by the team from Heroes on the Water, which provides therapeutic watersport sessions for wounded veterans. Brecon-based peer mentor Phil Johnson said the benefits of the trip – which was funded by donations from a wide range of businesses and supporters – were clear. What a weekend! Members of this group of veterans really enjoyed a challenging route over Tryfan and summiting Snowdon, as well as the opportunity to get onto the water – and catch our own dinner! It’s well known that exercise has many benefits for mental and physical wellbeing, and once again it was wonderful to see how veterans in the group were able to get stuck in with the activities and with one another. I have no doubt that this trip was of enormous therapeutic benefit. We’ve already received some wonderful feedback from those who took part – all of whom say that their sense of wellbeing has benefitted enormously. Phil Johnson Peer Mentor   ‘In my own space’ Marvin Grange, from Berriew, served with the Gloucestershire and Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiments between 1990 and 1997. He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and joined his second Snowdonia expedition. Sometimes, I can...