As part of its Positive Pathways initiative, which supports the mental health of Armed Forces veterans, The Armed Forces Covenant Fund has awarded £70,000 to the military charity Care for Veterans…

Care for Veterans has received the funding towards a two-year project, ‘Sporting Chances for Disabled Veterans’, which will allow physically disabled veterans, many with brain injuries, to participate in more varied outdoor and sporting activities, such as abseiling, cycling, sailing and archery.

The aim of the project is to provide new experiences for the residents of Care for Veterans, encourage feelings of self-achievement, reduce the risk of institutionalisation and improve well-being. Depression is a common consequence of brain injury and physical disability, and as a result, many veterans can become institutionalised and withdraw into themselves.

As a facility, Care for Veterans tries to provide as many activities as possible, with a therapeutic focus which will enhance recovery for its residents, both physically and mentally, and this new project will help to expand on this even further. Participating in games or sports can have positive benefits for people with disabilities.

As well as the health benefits of physical activity, such as lowering high blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight and boosting the immune system, exercise through games or sports can also help you feel good, increase self-confidence and provide an opportunity for social interaction. Each activity will be planned by the individual with specific therapeutic aims and delivered by the in-house occupational therapy team.

Senior Occupational Therapist at Care for Veterans, Debra Hall, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding to support our therapeutic work with the veterans. Outdoor and sporting activities are recognised as having multiple benefits to physical and mental health with the potential to promote an overall sense of wellbeing.

“This is no different for individuals who have significant physical disabilities but, for them, accessing and participating in such activities is not straightforward. This grant will enable us to fully explore possibilities for our disabled veterans to engage in local outdoor and sporting activities, and to facilitate their participation in activities of interest. We are most grateful for this generous support.”

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay