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Improving mental health for veterans one step at a time

Boots on the Ground disabled veteran at the top of mountain Pen Y Fan in Wales

Boots on the Ground

Building self-esteem, resilience, skills and wellbeing.

We want to harness the incredible, positive impact that being in the great outdoors can have on our wellbeing and so we have created a wide range of activities that we offer to clients.  Our changing programme includes some weekly activities and some single day ones.  We can grow and adapt what we offer to match your needs and interests and to support you and other members of our group to achieve your goals.  The size of our groups vary, but most days we are joined by around 3 or 4 people.

If you are a veteran who would like support with their mental wellbeing then we may be able to help, so do get in touch.

Our Boots on the Ground programme is made possible thanks to the generosity of our wonderful supporters, including the Armed Forces Covenant Positive Pathways Programme.

Our programme is built on the tried and tested NHS ‘5 Steps to Wellbeing’:

Connect with other people – brings a sense of wellbeing and self-worth

Be physically active – causes chemical changes in the brain that improves your mood

Learn new skills – helps to build a sense of purpose

Give to others – creates positive feelings and a sense of reward

Pay attention to the present – helping you understand yourself better and enjoy life more

I don’t usually go out much due to social anxiety, but Boots on the Ground allows me to meet new people in a comfortable environment. It helps me to stay active and learn a lot about things that interest me. It helps me to interact with people and pursue my interests, which will hopefully lead to employment soon.

Ryan - Homes for Veterans Client


Our scheme operates in three areas – England, North and South Wales. If you are a veteran living in one of our Alabaré Homes for Veterans, you are welcome to join our Boots on the Ground programme, and equally, if you are a veteran living in the local area and would benefit from some support with your mental wellbeing please do get in touch.

Some of our activities, such as hill walking days and mindful woods, are created by us exclusively for our clients. Others see us linking up with other local organisations such as The National Trust, Men’s Shed, The Forestry Commission, Commonwealth War Graves Commission and local Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Clubs to offer additional opportunities. Our team are on hand to support you in whichever activities you choose.

We recognise the value of linking some of our Boots on the Ground activities to our collective heritage and conservation of our land, particularly in relation to military history.  Our clients tell us that they enjoy participating in these group activities, which build camaraderie and the sense of being able to give back.  Our Boots on the Ground veterans have taken part in trips to Gibraltar to help restore militaria there, as well as help restore and maintain military memorials closer to home, including the famous Fovant Badges in Wiltshire.

Download our Veterans Boots on the Ground leaflet

Buddy to Buddy

Our team of veteran mentors join in our Boots on the Ground activities and offer one-to-one support.  They have a mutual understanding of the Armed Forces and dynamics of similar experiences and backgrounds, as well as being able to draw on their civilian lives. Our Buddy to Buddys aim to help you build your confidence and trust and add to the enjoyment of participating in our activities together.

Get involved

We would love to hear from charitable trusts, corporations, community projects and activity providers who would like to partner with our Boots on the Ground and support veterans and/or young people.  Working together and increasing our available opportunities will help make a huge difference to our clients.

Would you like to get involved as a veteran or as a volunteer buddy-to-buddy if you would like more information on how your organisation can be involved, please get in touch.

Boots On The Ground gallery

Take a look at some of the activities everyone gets up to. These will be updated over time.

If it hadn’t been for the Boots on the Ground team, I would be holed up somewhere with a bottle with no hope and no future.

Veteran of Afghanistan

Mike, who lives at our home in South Wales, shares his thoughts on his recent experiences at a kayaking camp activity with fellow veteran service users.

“The challenges were mentally and physically challenging, but the BOTG staff and service providers were patient and encouraging, and there was no pressure to do anything.”


Read Mike's story

What we do

We’ve been supporting people who are homeless, vulnerable or marginalised for over 30 years, empowering individuals to live a fulfilled and independent life. See below for details of who and how we help.

Alabare Homes for Veterans homeless veteran

Homes for veterans

Our veteran pathway provides accommodation, training, wellbeing and support programmes to help ex-Armed Forces personnel who have struggled or faced homelessness in their civilian lives.

Find out more
Alabaré veteran self-build

Veterans Self-Build Scheme

Our training and support programme for former military personnel who have faced homelessness in their civilian lives and who want to work in the construction industry, helping to build their own home.

Find out more
Alabare staff offering mental health support

Supporting mental health

A confidential service aimed at anyone in Wiltshire who needs support in managing their mental health and wellbeing and working in partnership with Access Community Mental Health.

Find out more

Quick contact

If you need some help or have any questions please get in touch. We will get back to you within 48 hours for any general enquiries. If you need emergency help click here

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