Henry* served in the Royal Navy for 35 years and joined as teenager in the 1950’s and is 80 years old.
Henry was one of the original team of veterans who helped clean, paint and refit the Woody’s starter and temporary building at RN Wales, HMS Cambria. Henry will go into Woody’s folklore “as the man left standing on the roof of the new Woody’s porchway, as other veteran’s took his ladder away and went off for a brew”.
So important to veterans, Emergency Services leavers and their families visiting Woody’s is the humour, banter and practical joking that is part of the day to day life of Woody’s Lodge. Henry was very much part of this, particularly, his prowess as a musician and singer.
The last 12 months has seen a significant change in Henry’s life, his wife was diagnosed with a cardiac problem which required surgery, with Henry acting as her primary carer on her return home. During this period Henry was diagnosed with cancer. This in turn required Henry attending chemo and radio therapy clinics over a period of 6 months.
Woody’s Lodge was not required to become directly involved in supporting Henry and his wife, but, acted as Henry termed it a “backstop”. Woody’s was there to provide the social network and friendships and contacts, if needed.
Since Woody’s Lodge moved to the Amelia Trust Farm site, and the couple regaining health, Mr and Mrs Henry have started to revisit Woody’s Lodge once more and were guests at our recent launch event at Amelia Trust Farm, and at recent Christmas parties. Staff, Volunteers and other veterans were so pleased to see them both and to see that they are both on the mend!
Henry says: “Woodys has been so important in establishing new friendships and if things went a bit wrong, Woody’s is there to provide support if needed.”
*name has been changed