On parade at Armed Forces Day

On parade at Armed Forces Day

  On parade at Armed Forces Day VOLUNTEERS FROM Change Step helped to deliver a fantastic Armed Forces Day in Llandudno. More than 100,000 people are thought to have descended on the sun-drenched resort for the national celebration — amongst them HRH The Princess Royal, Prime Minister Theresa May and First Minister Carwyn Jones. Change Step supported the event by staffing registration desks for parading veterans, offering support and a quiet space for those who needed some rest following the parade, and distributing free copies of our support guide for older veterans in Wales. Staff from CAIS Social Enterprises made 1,000 sandwiches to feed parading veterans visiting from throughout the UK, and offered high quality food and drink to many members of the public at Troop Cafe. And we helped a number of people supported by Change Step to take part in both the day itself and attend the event’s official flag-raising ceremony, including a number of beneficiaries of our Aged Veterans project.   Signifcant exposure Staff and members of the Change Step’s advisory board were also able to mix with a number of key decision-makers from the veterans support sector during the week’s events. Change Step would like to thank all volunteers — both from within CAIS and from our partners — who supported our efforts at Armed Forces Day, and during the preceding week. This national event generated significant exposure for our work with a number of important stakeholders, for many of our partners, and for the region. Change Step was pleased to be involved in the planning stages for several months, alongside officials from the MOD...
Peter: “Change Step has been instrumental in changing my life”

Peter: “Change Step has been instrumental in changing my life”

  Peter: “Change Step has been instrumental in changing my life”   CHANGE STEP helped Peter to turn his life around by providing specialist veteran-to-veteran peer mentor support. Before turning to Change Step, Peter from Merthyr Tydfil was in an extremely dark place and had nowhere to turn. Now he feels “on top of the world”, and believes that “there is hope!” “Change Step has been instrumental in changing my life, at a time I was faced with the very real prospect of being evicted from my flat,” he said. “They provided me with the support I needed, and worked alongside other agencies to deliver expertise and skills to assist me. “This support included helping me with my referral to TEDS, the Veterans Charity for food parcels, Merthyr Valley’s Home Tenancy Support and the Royal British Legion to help with debt management. “I am no longer in arrears with the rent, I am in receipt of my benefits and I am receiving counselling to help with my recovery. “Change Step is a fantastic organisation with professional and dedicated mentors who provide support and are willing to go the extra mile. Damon has been an awesome mentor.” After a hard 12 months, Peter is now in a positive place — and his plans for the future include watching the Bluebirds at Cardiff City Stadium. Change Step have helped more than 1,500 veterans and their families in Wales by providing dedicated services for those in crisis, older veterans, and those with mental health and substance misuse needs.     Support our work To donate £2 to our charitable work, text STEP46...
Change Step helps to raise Armed Forces Day flag

Change Step helps to raise Armed Forces Day flag

Change Step helps to raise Armed Forces Day flag Veterans from Change Step helped raise the flag for Armed Forces Day at a special ceremony in Llandudno. We joined members of the public, schoolchildren and invited dignitaries for the event – which kicked off a week of celebrations in the run up to the big day on Saturday June 30. The group witnessed a dynamic display by all three forces, and the official arrival and hoisting of the Armed Forces Day flag.  As the host of the UK-wide celebrations, Llandudno expects to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors this week.   Joining the parade Amongst those taking part was 96-year-old RAF veteran Cledwyn Aneurin Evans, a member of the Goldfish Club for airmen who have survived ditching at sea. Planes he crewed crashed into the cold waters around the Orkney Islands twice during 1944 – in both June and September. Cledwyn – a long-time member of, fundraiser and standard-bearer for the Royal British Legion, who now benefits from our Aged Veterans’ project – will be accompanied by two RAF cadets when he joins the parade on Armed Forces Day.   Peer mentoring Afghanistan veteran Andrew Wookey said he was pleased to join the flag-raising ceremony in Llandudno. The 38-year-old – who served with 23 Pioneer Regiment of the Royal Logistics Corps for 13 years, including tours to Sierra Leone, Oman, Iraq and Northern Ireland – has benefited from our peer mentoring service in Port Talbot. “It’s been a good day, and it has been nice to meet some of the older veterans. “It’s great to have Armed Forces Day...
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...