Tonight (Sunday 13th November 2022) you will have seen our Alabaré veterans clients and team feature on BBC1 in Countryfile’s Remembrance special programme which comes from Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall.
We were thrilled to be invited to join the crew at the beautiful Country Park, where a number of our clients have been volunteering in outdoor activities such as gardening, forestry and arboriculture and building deer fencing.
Our veterans, many of whom have been homeless or struggling with their well-being, have been volunteering in these activities which have the dual benefit of helping them to build new skills and qualifications for future employment and supporting their positive mental well-being through working outdoors. Each is also receiving support from one of our Alabaré veterans’ teams, helping them regain confidence and self-esteem and move towards successful independent living once more.
BBC Countryfile presenter Margherita Taylor spent time with our veterans and team learning more about the work they are doing and the personal journeys that they have been on.
To mark Remembrance Sunday, Andy who is part of our Alabaré Homes for Veterans team and a veteran who has experienced being homeless himself, laid a wreath at a special plague in the Mount Edgcumbe gardens. The plaque has been handcrafted by Alabaré Veterans Self-Build client Dennis, aged 87.
Several of the veterans taking part are currently part of our Veterans Self-Build Scheme at Stirling House in nearby Plymouth. Ryan, who served in the Royal Engineers struggled with his well-being after leaving the Forces. He has recently moved into a new home which he helped to build himself and is continuing to work on others in the scheme which will become home to other veterans in the coming months. At Mount Edgcumbe Ryan is volunteering alongside Secure Forests and has found a passion for arboriculture that he hopes to develop into a new career. Ryan talked on tonight’s programme about the work he is training to do with Secure Forests, helping to protect rainforests and protected habitats around the globe.
Debbie is an RAF veteran of 12 years, who has been part our Veterans Self-Build in Plymouth since it began last summer. Like Ryan, Debbie has found a passion for horticulture and enjoys volunteering with the gardens team at Mount Edgcumbe when she’s not working on site in Honicknowle.
At Alabaré we have been harnessing the positive mental and physical health benefits of the outdoors with our veterans and young people for several years and have developed our Alabaré Boot on the Ground project to offer outdoor activities across our region.
Karen Langley is one of our Alabaré Boots on the Ground Project Managers and she says;
“It was wonderful to be able to talk about our support for veterans on BBC Countryfile at Mount Edgcumbe. Raising awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by our country’s veterans is vital. At Alabaré Boots on the Ground we see every day the huge benefit to veterans’ mental and physical well-being from engaging in outdoor activities, not to mention the camaraderie that is felt from our shared endeavor and understanding.”
Our services and support for veterans is only made possible through donations from individuals and organisations. Without these funds we will not be able to provide this life-changing support. Please do support our veterans today by clicking here to donate. Thank you so much.