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 or young person 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 crafting are created by us exclusively for our clients, and 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 taking part in these group activities which build camaraderie and the sense of being able to give something back. Our Boots on the Ground veterans have taken part in trips to Gibraltar to help restore militaria there, as well as helping to restore and maintain military memorials closer to home including the famous Fovant Badges in Wiltshire.
Buddy to Buddy
Our team of veterans mentors join in our Boots on the Ground activities as well as offering 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. The aim of our Buddy to Buddys is to help you build your confidence and trust, as well as add to the enjoyment of taking part in our activities together.
If you are living with us in our Alabaré Young Peoples’ and Parent and Baby Homes then we have a wide range of opportunities and activities on offer through our Boots on the Ground programme. Recently some of these have included polo, sailing and residential camps where the emphasis is on helping you to grow in confidence and skills in spending time with other people.
Our Young People’s Coordinator also regularly meets with smaller groups to build activities that you or another client can lead, taking on new tasks and challenges, and sharing hobbies or passions that you have. We also have an outdoor community, wellbeing outdoor space at our Old Sarum Development Centre where we offer bushcraft and camp activities which while being fun but also help you develop your skills in working together, safely using tools and build a sense of achievement.
We would love to hear from charitable trusts, corporates, community projects and activity providers who would like to partner our Boots on the Ground and support veterans and/or young people. Working together and increasing the range of opportunities we have available 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 or if you would like more information on how your organisation can be involved, please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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
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
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