With Christmas and New Year now distant memories, we started 2019 with our new team member, Nick Sternberg, firmly in place and pardon the pun, but ‘just in the nick of time’. Things continue to be extremely busy, with organisations wanting to learn more about Woody’s Lodge and how they can link in with us!
In January, I attended the funeral of John Hardy who was a great friend and supporter of ours at Colwyn Bay. John, who sadly passed away suddenly on New Year’s Eve, was the site manager at Eirias Park and was instrumental in bringing the Veterans Hub to Conwy.
The annual North Wales Royal British Legion conference was held in Llandudno, and I attended as a guest speaker to give a presentation on Woody’s Lodge. This was received very well with branches from across the North Wales region requesting we forge links with veterans in their areas.
The satellite drop-in centres are working very well, and we have been able to assist several veterans and their families on a variety of issues. We now hold these drop-ins at Wrexham, Rhyl, Shotton and more recently in Llangefni and Holyhead in Anglesey, with plans to open in Caernarfon and Dolgellau in the near future. Find out more about our Drop-in Centres here.
Thursdays have become our social days here in Colwyn Bay with several regulars coming along and joining in the fun. One of those days we had a representative from Carers Wales come along and talk to some of our older veterans and their families. This proved very successful with a number of our veterans’ carers receiving the support they deserve!
I have been working closely with Disability Arts Cymru who have recently secured a grant for a veterans’ photography workshop here in Conwy. We had eight veterans attend the 2-day course and there are plans in place for their work to be displayed at a photography exhibition in Colwyn Bay later in the year. We are looking to continue this work and develop regular photography sessions combining them with days out in the hills.
An issue that veterans regularly present us with is that of form filling. Veterans suffering with mental or physical health issues find it
increasingly difficult to complete benefits forms or attend assessment centres. I am pleased to welcome our new team member, Tom Meaden, who joins us as our Support Officer. Tom is a Royal Navy veteran and has experience with the benefit system so will be a great asset to us!
If you intend visiting the North, please pop in and see us! Remember ‘et semper in ollae’.
Project Officer (North)