Veterans take to Snowdonia with Change Step

Veterans take to Snowdonia with Change Step

  Veterans take to Snowdonia with Change Step   VETERANS FROM Change Step took to the water and the hillsides on a special outdoors weekend. A group of 13 participants from across Wales gathered to enjoy the restorative fresh air, great weather and camaraderie in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park. They were joined by the team from Heroes on the Water, who provide therapeutic kayaking and angling 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. “The military has known for years the benefits of outdoor exercise, with obvious positives including improved mental wellbeing, enhanced energy and engagement, and enjoyment and self-satisfaction. “The comradeship which comes from a group of veterans working together is also very important. “I have already seen considerable benefit from this weekend, and team members are still exchanging e-mails and messages about it. “I saw a number of examples of guys helping one other with their issues – giving advice and encouragement to each other.  This included tips on getting work, and dealing with personal problems.  It’s great that these conversations are still going on. “The whole weekend was cathartic, and the great weather conditions just put the icing on the cake.” Phil Johnson Peer Mentor, Change Step   The weekend was backed by a number of kind supporters, including Heroes on the Water, Jesse James Bunkhouse, The Padarn Hotel in Llanberis, Morrisons Brecon, Waitrose Abergavenny, Coop Brecon and Hay on Wye, Lidl Pontypridd, Tesco Port Talbot and B&M Aberavon.  Our thanks...
Change Step project publishes new guide for older veterans

Change Step project publishes new guide for older veterans

Change Step project publishes new guide for older veterans Aged veterans in Wales have provided an important service for their nation and can look back at their careers with pride and satisfaction. But as they become older, many will face physical and mental health challenges caused by both their age and their time in the services. A new bilingual Wellbeing manual for older veterans aims to provide key tips for those older veterans so that they can enjoy a healthy and happy retirement. Supported by the Royal British Legion’s Aged Veterans Fund and developed by mental health charity Hafal on behalf of veterans’ project Change Step, the guide was produced in close consultation with veterans and covers a number of areas, from rights and benefits to mobility and mental health. “At different times in life we all need help with everyday issues caused by our service or age. If you are an aged veteran you may need support to make life better. “The Aged Veterans Self Help Manual has been put together to help you find that support. It is the result of consultation with aged armed forces veterans like me who have experienced issues and have been supported by veterans’ organisations. “If you don’t have someone you can talk to, would prefer to speak ex-service people or have concerns about an older veteran, this manual can help you find the right information and support.” Ted Owen Former Royal Marine Commando, D-Day Veteran   Comprehensive The guide incorporates a comprehensive directory which includes contact details for a number of health and veterans’ organisations which can provide support for older...
Free lunch for older veterans as Troop Café throws open its doors for summer

Free lunch for older veterans as Troop Café throws open its doors for summer

Free lunch for older veterans as Troop Café throws open its doors for summer OLDER VETERANS and their families marked the summer reopening of Llandudno’s Troop Café – with a forces-friendly free lunch! Around 20 ex-services personnel and families enjoyed sharing stories and viewing displays of military memorabilia as part of the event, organised by Change Step’s Aged Veterans project.   Combat isolation It brings together older veterans in our communities, helps to combat isolation and loneliness, and provides targeted mentoring support for veterans aged 65 and over. Project manager Claire Jones said her team was already working with dozens of older veterans throughout Conwy and Denbighshire.   “It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces at our lunch at Troop Café. “Our project is here to help older veterans connect with one another, and navigate the various sources of help they can access. “This event is just one example of how we support veterans and their families throughout Conwy and Denbighshire with social events, regular meet-ups, and a telephone befriending service.” Claire Jones Project Manager, Change Step Aged Veterans   The Troop Café veterans’ hub, on Llandudno’s Mostyn Broadway coachpark, is now open between 10.30am and 6pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the summer season. The social enterprise provides a fantastic range of great value food and drink – with all proceeds supporting the work of national veterans’ project Change Step.   Information Mentors from Change Step host a drop-in for veterans on Thursday afternoons, with a dedicated information session for older veterans taking place between 1.30 and 3.30pm every Friday from April 20. The former...
Welcome for funding from ABF The Soldiers Charity

Welcome for funding from ABF The Soldiers Charity

Welcome for funding support from ABF The Soldiers Charity Change Step has welcomed a grant of almost £50,000 from ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. The fresh funding support will help us develop collaborative relationships with other veterans’ bodies and reach out into more rural communities across Wales. Respected and long-standing Project manager Simon Frith said it was a particular pleasure to receive recognition for our work from such a respected and long-standing charity.   “Change Step mentors work with veterans in crisis, veterans with mental health needs, and isolated older veterans on the ground in communities throughout Wales. “This valuable funding will enable Change Step to develop new partnerships and strengthen our existing working arrangements – with a particular focus on supporting more isolated veterans in rural areas. “We look forward to working with the ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, and to continuing to demonstrate how effective peer mentoring can be of real benefit for former members of our Armed Forces.” Simon Frith Project Manager, Change Step   Support our work To donate £2 to our charitable work, text STEP46 £2 to 70070 – or to donate £10, text STEP46 £10!   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. facebook Follow Twitter...
Determined cadet Faye makes strides to support Change Step

Determined cadet Faye makes strides to support Change Step

Holywell cadet strides out for veterans A TEENAGE ARMY cadet who tackled a 40-mile hike across the North Yorkshire Moors — twice — has donated £300 to Change Step. Faye Beck, from Holywell, raised the cash by completing the exposed Lyke Wake Walk from Osmotherly to Ravenscar on one of the hottest days of the year this June. The determined 16-year-old reached the finish post in just over 15 hours, but had to be checked over by doctors after suffering sunburn and exhaustion in the sweltering heat. Undaunted, she returned to Yorkshire to complete the feat of endurance a second time — accompanying her aunt on an overnight effort in August.   “Really difficult” Faye, a cadet corporal in the Holywell detachment of the Clwyd and Gwynedd Army Cadet Force, studies motor mechanics at Coleg Cambria Deeside.  She hopes to join the Royal Engineers as a HGV recovery mechanic. “The actual walk wasn’t that bad, but the conditions and the weather made it really difficult,” Faye said. “I saw an article about Change Step in the newspaper and decided I would like to support a military charity which really helps people locally.  I’d like to thank everyone who sponsored me for their support.” The Lyke Wake Walk was created in 1955 as challenge for walkers.  It is also known as the Coffin Walk because of the many burial mounds found along the route   Supreme effort Change Step director Geraint Jones thanked Faye for her efforts. “We’re lucky to have a large number of people who support our work with veterans across Wales,” he said. “Faye has made a...