Help for Heroes in Wales is delivering a new programme of support for Veterans and Armed Forced personnel…

Taking place at the charity’s Community Recovery Office in Treforest, Rhondda Cynon Taf; men and women from across Wales who are wounded, injured or sick because of their military service are invited to apply for the Pathfinder Experience.

The 3-part programme, designed to Inspire, Enable and Support people to make the transition from the Armed Services into civilian life, takes place over 12 days, and has been run successfully for several years at the charity’s other regional bases.

Lee Dunkley from Pencoed, Bridgend, served with Royal Artillery for 22 years, in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Iraq and Afghanistan and spent 18 months with the Military Provost Guard Service in Wiltshire. Lee was medically discharged because of injuries sustained in service and took part in a trial of the Pathfinder Experience at the Treforest office in July.

He said: “I was lost as to where I wanted to go with my career. I wanted a bit more clarity, and the best people to speak to are the subject matter experts at Help for Heroes. The people that run the course come predominantly from military backgrounds, and appreciate where we come from, and where we need to go to, to achieve our aims and goals within life.”

Louis Nethercott, Programme Delivery Lead National Career Recovery Team described the purpose of the course: “It’s about helping people learn more about themselves in terms of strengths, skills, likes, dislikes, as well as identify opportunities for a purposeful future role, whether that be in fulfilling paid work, voluntary work or finding enjoyable hobbies.

“By the time the Experience is complete, they should be able to translate their strengths and skills into civilian life, understand employment and lifestyle options and be confident about what the future holds.”

Lee Dunkley added: “Having the course in Wales has made it easier for me because I’m not fighting with the traffic every morning to get here because traffic sends my stress levels through the roof. It’s in a quiet area, there are amenities around, everything’s to hand, and you don’t really need much because the Help for Heroes staff support you.”

Help for Heroes Community Recovery Manager Shelley Elgin said: “We are delighted to be able to offer the Pathfinder Experience to veterans here in Wales. The response to the trial version we ran in July has been phenomenal.

“We’re keen to encourage those who are already engaging with our services to take part, but we’d love to hear from anyone who’s new to Help for Heroes, whenever they served, if they need our support, we are here for them.”

The Wales Community Recovery Office is wheelchair accessible and assistance is available for those who need overnight accommodation to attend the course.

Further information is available by contacting the Wales Community Recovery Team on 01443 808910 or emailing