Thank you to all our donors, friends, mentors, buddies and corporates across the UK for making this our best year ever for fundraising!

 

Our Fifth Annual Ski Week

March was a milestone for Supporting Wounded Veterans – for the fifth year running we took 25 medically discharged wounded veterans for a week’s “skihabilitation” to kick start their recovery and set forth on the piste to meaningful life and employment.

 

“Today is the second best day of my life. The first was when I walked again after being blown up and today I got back on skis” 2017 Veteran

All of us out in Klosters were unanimously inspired by their phenomenal courage and how they cope with their injuries, both physical and hidden, on a daily basis. Watching the bravery of first time skiers, who live with chronic pain, courageously point their skis downhill was awe inspiring and puts life into perspective.

“My whole experience with SWV has restored my faith in the human race and has pulled me out of a very dark place” 2017 Veteran

Each one has now been allocated a trained business or personal mentor to help them identify goals, develop professional skills and work towards a fulfilling future.

The Veterans’ Family Support Network weekend took place at the beginning of April; this gives the veterans and their often isolated family members an opportunity to meet each other, their mentors and buddies in a compassionate environment.

Thank you one and all

We are so grateful for your continued support over the last year – with your generosity and super fundraising efforts we’ve raised a staggering £1.25 million in the last twelve months.

Our mission is to help medically discharged wounded veterans back into meaningful life and employment – our statistics show that we are achieving our goal; at the end of February 2017 86% of our veterans were in full or part time Occupation, Training or Employment.

We were delighted to be awarded LIBOR funding of £588,000 from the government at the latter end of 2016, which will fund the Pain Management Programme for 1.25 years. This has given us confidence to create a sustainable programme and galvanised our fundraising for the future of the Pain Management Programme.

Very recently we’ve initiated a needs driven programm for veterans with severe and complex PTSD. PTSD has grown markedly as operations have wound down in Afghanistan, from 50 in 2011-12 to 189 last year, and our new in patient programme at The Maudsley is the only one of its type in the UK set up specially for wounded veterans.

The Pain Management Programme

The Pain Management Programme is delivered in tandem with our mentoring and training programmes, to ensure that we address all of the often complex needs faced by wounded veterans. Demand for the programme, set up in conjunction with King Edward VII Hospital, and the first of its kind to assess pain management and medication, continues to outstrip available places. Employment is often inconceivable for veterans in chronic pain.

The impact of the progamme is measured by the  extent to which pain is managed and reliance on incapacitating medication reduced; anecdotally it is a life changer, as one of our 2017 ski week veterans attested. His prescription of nine daily painkillers has been reduced to one.Together with the hospital we are striving to achieve a ‘Gold Standard’ of care for veterans’ pain management.

“This has been a life changer for me, to be able to speak openly about my pain, to clinicians who not only understand what I am talking about – but also HEARD me – and although they say the pain might not go away completely they can show me ways to manage and cope with it – I cannot believe that SWV and King Edward VII Hospital have given this to me – Thank You.”

Our aim is to raise funds to pay for 60 veterans to access the clinic per annum, at a projected cost of £1.2  million over three years.

Severe and Complex Cases of PTSD

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Data from the King’s Centre for Military Health Research suggests that almost 40,000 veterans of the 758,000 regulars who served from 1991-2014 are likely to suffer from PTSD.

We have recently inititated a programme in conjunction with The Maudsley Hospital to support veterans who are suffering from complex and severe PTSD and require urgent inpatient care. The NHS is often unable to provide the required treatment for veterans suffering from this hidden and intolerable wound. When ignored,  PTSD causes unimaginable distress to families while the veterans’ conditions deteriorates.

For example, one of our veterans, Ben, initially turned to the NHS for help spending 129 days in a mental hospital sedated but not treated, or even assessed. The emotional and financial effect on his young family was devastating with his wife unable to work. He is one of the first beneficiaries of our new in patient programme and you can read about him here: ttps://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/26/military-wives-ptsd-mental-health-speak-out-raise-awareness .

We have several other veterans waiting to join the programme.

 The cost per veteran to be assessed and spend an average of three months in The Maudsley Hospital is £30,000.

Join The Business Challenge

If you would like details about The January 2018 Business Challenge, our spectacular team ski races in Klosters, please email bc@supportingwoundedveterans.com

WE ARE HOLDING A TALK WITH Q&A ON MAY 11TH AT THE FRONTLINE CLUB, W2

with Edward Lucas (The Economist) and Roland Oliphant (The Telegraph).

ALL WELCOME – PLEASE RSVP

Become a Mentor

We cannot thank our fabulous team of mentors enough – your patience and tenacity is integral to our veterans’ recovery! Over the next year we will be training many more mentors in order to assign a mentor to each veteran attending our pain management programme.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a mentor please email Rikki@supportingwoundedveterans.com

Last Call for 2018 Buddy Applications

Article ImageThere are just 5 weeks left to sign up to do something amazing. Apply to be a Ski buddy on the 2018 Veterans Ski Week (2nd-10th March 2018). Please share this fantastic opportunity to support wounded veterans in their first stage of rehabilitation back into employment. Applications close on the 31st May 2017.  To find out more & apply Click here

Events Calendar

May 11th – Talk with Q&A on Fake News and Contemporary Russia at The Frontline Club

June 18th – Cricket match at Swinbrook Cricket Club

August 3rd – Tug of War in Canary Wharf

September – Talk with Q&A at The Oratory, Knightsbridge

December 4th – Carol Concert at St Peter’s Eaton Square

If you would like information about any of the above please email swv@supportingwoundedveterans.com