In 2020 we moved our programmes online to continue to support wounded veterans
5 January 2021
Supporting Wounded Veterans helps medically-discharged servicemen and women regain their independence after physical and mental injuries.
Like many organisations, the global pandemic affected our ability to deliver our programmes in the way we had intended.
During the challenges of 2020, we are incredibly grateful to our funders and network of supporters whose commitment to our veterans meant we did not pause our support.
In fact, as a charity that has pledged to be there for veterans for as long as they need us, your support meant we quickly found innovative ways to stay connected, offer alternative activities and develop new programmes. All in response to regular feedback through our Veteran Ambassador Board.
Core to our mission in helping veterans gain independence, over 90% of veterans remain in occupation, training or employment.
With funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and the National Lottery Community Fund we moved all of our programmes online at the start of the first lockdown.
The Pain Reviews, led by leading Pain Specialist, Dr Dominic Aldington and supported by the Veterans' Foundation were the first to be delivered in this way.
Veterans who were most isolated, either through mental health or location, were able to attend online sessions to help them manage their pain.
A further health and wellbeing programme, the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) was moved online. EFT is an evidence-based, simple, yet effective approach to mind-body healing.
Once learned it can be used when needed as a self-help tool. Veterans have found it to be beneficial for mood, motivation, sleep, concentration, ability to work, anger management and improved relationships.
Of veterans with chronic pain, 71% reported that EFT helped them better cope with their pain, leading to less reliance on healthcare services and medication.
Three further programmes were developed for online participation during lockdown:
Pain Resilience Programme: A 52-week online course with clinical specialists and led by veterans who give peer-to-peer support.
Bouncing Back: A programme for partners and spouses to cope with the incredibly demanding job of caring. The name was invented by family members as the various lockdowns had made them feel stretched, like 'an elastic band just waiting to break'
One family member said: "Learning a variety of techniques to help my mental wellbeing that I can fit into my busy day has made a big difference."
Time for Resilience: Small groups meet virtually weekly with a psychotherapist to connect and share coping strategies.