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Pioneer Programme

Transforming Lives Forever

“To have the chance of a new life. To have a world where my PTSD is not as dominating as it is right now. To put the past into some sort of context and not be haunted by it every day, every moment in the future. What a wonderful gift that would be.”

Our Challenge

For too many of our Veterans, the real battle begins when they return home.

Nine per cent of ex-regular servicemen and women who had deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. For those whose last deployment was in combat role - this rises to 17%.

PTSD can affect anyone. Within the civilian population the rate is 4.4%. Early evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic is showing that 20% of Intensive Care Unit survivors could develop this debilitating condition.

Sadly, Veterans with PTSD are not getting the care they need.


Existing therapies, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), only offer a modest, 30% chance of success. Veterans fare worse from existing treatments and have tried every therapy and every possible medication. They have come too close to giving-up on ever finding a solution to the devastating effects of PTSD on their lives and their families.

Your support could be the answer to transforming their lives forever.

At SWV we know that Veterans can embrace their full potential when they are free from the pain of physical and mental injuries. 

Your support will pioneer revolutionary new research to enable a more effective treatment for all trauma survivors, including those affected by war, sexual assault, torture, rape and child abuse.


Supported by NHS England, we are working in conjunction with MAPS (The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) and world-class researchers in this pioneering field at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London, as together they deliver the UK’s first MDMA-assisted therapy trial committed to finding an effective treatment for PTSD - even for those who suffer with severe, chronic symptoms.

Martin Wade
Martin Hewitt
Jonathan Leach

How Your Donation Will Be Used

The total cost to deliver the Pioneer Programme in the UK is £1.5m. To kick-start the programme, SWV has committed £100,000 to the fundraising appeal.

With thanks to our partners, including NHS England and MAPS, we have raised £1.2m of the £1.5m costs with pledges taking us to our appeal target.

With 4.4% of the civilian population with PTSD in England, MDMA-assisted therapy will be a game-changer in this complex and difficult field, reducing the long-term, and repeated, costs of care for those with PTSD.

Once approved we expect this treatment to be available for c. £10,000 per patient. This makes it more cost-effective than existing and often repeated, in-patient admissions at £25,000 for three months in addition to the societal costs associated with the illness.

With your help we can go all the way! -


Donate to the Pioneer Programme today


Thank you so much to our supporters -

The Candy Foundation | The Coller Foundation | Forces in Mind Trust | The Garfield Weston Foundation | & DCMS | Lord Leverhulme's Charitable Trust | NHS England | Karl Richard | The Rothschild Foundation | Veterans' Foundation | Wyfold Charitable Trust

And those who wish to remain anonymous


“PTSD is a truly debilitating and life-threatening battle – defeating it requires innovation. Studies of MDMA-assisted therapy in the US are proving it to be dramatically more effective than other treatments at relieving the pain and removing the stigma of PTSD. We, and importantly, our veterans are convinced it merits further study and trial.


"Many of these veterans have made remarkable sacrifices on behalf of our country. This programme, driven by SWV, genuinely promises to make a difference to the lives of wounded veterans who deserve the chance to live normal lives.”

General Sir Nick Carter, SWV Patron and Chief of the Defence Staff

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