September 2023 Newsletter: Latest News from Veterans Outdoors
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As another year draws to a close it’s inevitable that we look back at our achievements over the past 12 months and plan ahead for the challenges that 2024 will bring. 
It’s been another remarkable year for Veterans Outdoors. We have organised more than 200 separate activity days and supported more than 250 veterans, many with partners or spouses. We’ve expanded our groundbreaking programme of emotional resilience courses and continued to build strong relationships with important referral partners such as Op. Courage and other NHS Mental Health Services, GP’s Surgeries, Op. Nova, Hasler Coy and many other service-specific organisations.
And, most importantly for us, we continue to have the respect and support of some important funding bodies. In October the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust awarded us three year’s funding to enable us to continue our unique and important work with female veterans in the region, alongside an additional 12 month grant to develop, further, our numerous horticultural therapy and growing projects for all veterans.
In November we were delighted to welcome Helen McMahon and David Bean from the Army Benevolent Fund to Pentillie Castle to meet some of the Army veterans we support. Stories were swapped over the campfire, pasties were eaten and, shortly afterwards, we were delighted to receive significant funding from the ABF enabling us to continue our support for Army Veterans in the South West.
And the Army Benevolent Fund has also asked us to point out that individual army veterans who are in need of assistance can apply for grants from the ABF. Applications should go through local SSAFA representatives. Full details can be found at:

Meanwhile Veterans Outdoors has also recently received funding – or notifications of awards - from RNRMC (The Royal Navy / Royal Marines Charity) and The Veterans Foundation. 

We were honoured to be invited, once again, to take part in this year’s ‘Train of Poppies’ Remembrance Day event. Si was at Newton Abbot to meet the early Paddington train on behalf of our beneficiaries, staff and trustees. 

Meanwhile Veterans Outdoors’ CEO, Jeremy Hibbard, will be a keynote speaker at the Royal British Legion’s Regional Annual Conference in Axminster on Sat 27th Jan 2024. He’ll be talking about how, in just 3 years, the VO team were able to transform a struggling micro-charity with a niche interest in farming into one of the most respected, vital and valued veterans’ organisations in the South of England.


Since our last newsletter a regular member of our cohort Paul ‘Charlie’ Charles achieved remarkable success at the Invictus Games, returning with a swimming gold and three silvers. He was serving in the Royal Marines when a road accident ended his career but he overcame multiple injuries to train for Invictus and he credits Veterans Outdoors with helping him to find the confidence to apply for the games.  


We're delighted to have received the Armed Forces Covenant's Bronze Award for employers, reflecting our commitment to supporting members of the Armed Forces in the work that we do and also as valued employees. It's a great credit to our staff and trustees that we've been acknowledged in this way and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with all those organisations that have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant. 

As the year draws to a close we'd like to say a huge thankyou to the many people who've helped us out and supported us in 2023. Not just our funders and our beneficiaries but also those who have offered their kindness, support and skills. These include: The Coryton Family and Tina at Pentillie, Ele and the remarkable Warrior Equine Team, Liz Abram, Karl Shanahan, Jan and the team at Dartington, Dynamic Adventures, Becky Ormrod, Ann-Marie at Improving Lives / The Veterans Hub, Clare and Martin at Buckfast Bees, Mark, Sam and their Alpacas, Emma (night walks), Myrtle (Foraging), Carly from Hybrid Gym, Teri (art course), Ellie (online baking), Sheila at the William Pengelly Cave Studies Trust, Charlie Scullion (Buckfastleigh Projects), Katie & Rex at Rex Latham Blacksmiths and many others too numerous to mention. Also a huge thank you to David A and Gordon S for their fundraising efforts. From the Trustees and staff at Veterans Outdoors thank you all so much - we look forward to seeing you in 2024.
Si, Sam, Jodi, Catherine, Bernard & Jeremy.  

Should you require any out of hours support you may like to use one of the following agencies listed below.
The Samaritans 116123 (24hr helpline)
Combat Stress 0800 138 1619
Hopeline 0800 0684141
Devon First Response 0808 1968708 (24 hr Urgent Mental Health Helpline)


If you're a veteran, or you're about to transition from the forces, and you feel you could benefit from a bit of outdoor wellbeing with a friendly, supportive team working in some of the South West's most beautiful locations, why not get in touch? Or if you know a veteran you think would benefit, please send them our way. Or come and be a mentor for us - everyone's welcome! 

Finally, a huge thank you to all our funders who make what we do possible. We are grateful to.....

The 29th May 1969 Charitable Foundation, The Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund, The Army Benevolent Fund Soldiers' Charity, The Robert Clutterbuck Trust, The Country Landowners Association, The De Laszlo Foundation, Devon Community Foundation, Devon County Council, D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, The Elmgrant Trust, Finnis Scott Trust, The Fore Trust Fund, The Garfield Weston Foundation, Roger and Jean Jefcoate, The Clare Milne Charitable Trust, Mole Valley Farmers National Lottery Awards for All, Newton Abbot Town Council, The RAF Benevolent Fund, The Schreier Foundation, St James' Place, The Swire Trust, Torbay Community Foundation, The Veterans Foundation.  


Si Richardson - Operations Manager
Monday - Thursday 8 - 4

Bernard Coleman - Admin/Events Assistant
Monday - Wednesday 9 - 4

Jodi Johnson - Women's Lead / Head of Welfare
Mondays to Fridays 9 - 5

Catherine Poate - Welfare Officer
Wednesdays & Fridays

Contact telephone number - 07760 729080
Copyright © Veterans Outdoors 2021, charity number 1175204. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
c/o 4, Stonesclose, 
Galpin Street,
PL21 0RZ

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Veterans Outdoors · Bovey Tracey · Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9DB · United Kingdom

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