Merry Christmas from Veterans Outdoors

22 December 2021

CHRISTMAS ’21 – a message from the CEO and Trustees of Veterans Outdoors.

One of the things that has given the trustees and me real pleasure this year, amid all the challenges, is seeing the impact of our work on our beneficiaries.

We see that it isn’t just the chance to be active and to connect with like-minded veterans – it is the extraordinary benefit of being outdoors in nature and how it has the potential to improve mental health.

None of this would have been possible without the support of the terrific team we have here at Veterans Outdoors and the willingness of our veterans to take chances and try new experiences.

We have been very fortunate this year to continue to deliver a packed range of courses and experiences that can help to build confidence and community among all those who spend time with us. Our big innovation has been the development of Project Artemis, offering activities and events exclusively for women veterans. The numbers signing up for this project suggest this is a cohort that has been long overlooked.

Over the past year beneficiaries have kayaked rivers, built rafts, sowed and hoed, laid paving and hedges and grown then harvested lettuces and herbs.

We spent time at many of the beautiful gardens in the region, from Pentillie Castle in Cornwall, at Beaumont Park in Plymouth, to the Walled Garden at Dartington.

For those seeking a more tranquil experience there was the chance to learn bee-keeping at Buckfast Abbey or wander with the Lakemoor Alpacas of South Dartmoor.

In addition our beneficiaries also supported other organisations with groundwork and gardening such as the Apricot Centre or the William Pengelly Cave Studies Trust.

We will continue to deliver health, wellbeing and mindfully opportunities and activities next year.  We already have plans to return to the moors for a few gentle days out with our friends at Random Badger – no doubt there’ll be hot chips and a cup of tea as a reward.

We are planning some cycling trips along the Camel Trail, Granite Way and Drakes Trail and there’ll almost certainly be horse riding and open water swimming.

We kick off the New Year with a fitness programme for members of Project Artemis, for our female veterans and spouses, at Plymouth Argyle. It runs for 8 weeks, every Monday from January 8.  This is no boot camp, but a supportive environment for those who want to improve their health and wellbeing.

For more information about all these events or suggestions of events you would like to see at Veterans Outdoors contact [email protected]

Meantime may we take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year.

Jeremy Hibbard, CEO, on behalf of the Trustees and Senior Management Team.