The veterans who visit us at Woody’s Lodge will often have varying challenging backgrounds, from physical to mental health ailments to difficulty adjusting to civilian life once they’ve returned home from active service.
Kevin is a veteran of the British Army that started visiting us in 2018 with his partner, Steph. They have recently had a baby and we’re delighted to provide an update on what’s been going on in their lives!
Veteran’s Stories: A New Baby
We initially met Kevin back in 2018 when he was referred to us by Combat Stress, Kevin made a claim for PIP but unfortunately his claim was refused. We lodged an appeal on his behalf and accompanied him to the hearing, where we’re pleased to say he was awarded daily living allowance at the enhanced rate and mobility at the lower rate. You can read about Kevin’s experience from when he first started visiting us here.
Kevin and his partner, Steph, have been visiting us for a couple of years now and we’re pleased to say that Woody’s Lodge provides a space for both of them.
Steph and Kevin met on an online dating site back in May 2016, when they got chatting and really hit it off. A few months later, they met up in person in July 2016 and they’ve been inseparable ever since! Although they didn’t know each other before Kevin served, slowly Kevin has opened up to Steph about his time in the army. It has been difficult but now he’s let her in, Kevin feels safe knowing that he has the support he needs. They recently had a baby and we couldn’t be more thrilled for them!
At times Kevin’s service in the Army has had an impact on their relationship; especially as at first, he found it difficult to share his experiences as he didn’t want to burden his family with the nightmare he was struggling with and reliving over and over in his head. Kevin suffers with PTSD and often, the way he deals with things is by pushing the people closest to him away and shutting down.
Kevin and Steph found out about Woody’s through Combat Stress and have been coming together since 2018. Woody’s Lodge makes Kevin feel safe. He describes Woody’s as a place where:
‘You can be yourself and talk about things you faced during service, knowing that the people around you know how you are feeling because they have all taken a walk in your shoes. It’s a place where Steph can sit and chat with other partners of ex-service men and women and share each other’s coping strategies and help each other out. Judy has helped with filling out forms for PIP and David came along to my tribunal as support on the day. But everyone there is a pillar of support to me and I know they are only at the end of the phone if Steph or I need them. I’d like to thank everyone at Woody’s for helping me and my family through our difficult times.’
For Kevin, Woody’s Lodge feels like he’s back in the naffi where it gives him space and time to think. Where he doesn’t have to talk about anything he doesn’t want to and everyone there knows the lingo without needing to explain.
If you’re a friend or family of a veteran and are looking for some help and support through veteran’s family services or perhaps the chance to socialise with others who’ve had a similar experience to yourself, Woody’s Lodge is here to help. From Family Days to just ensuring that the loved ones and families of our veterans are feeling supported through a good cup of tea and a biscuit, Woody’s Lodge is here with you every step of the way.
Join us at our Partners and Children Lunch!
We host a lunch for the Partners, Carers, and Children of our veterans and Emergency Service leavers once a month at our Amelia Trust Farm site, on 5 Mile Lane. To find out when the next P.A.C Lunch is, keep an eye on our What’s On, or email Sian Woodland: [email protected]
If you, or someone you know, is struggling, Woody’s Lodge is a Welsh veteran’s charity and we can help. We can provide expert advice and support, as well like-minded people who have had similar experiences to you. We have locations in North and South Wales; we can help with Housing & Support, Benefits, Pensions & Finance, Agency & NHS Referrals and Socialising & Friends. From one-to-one assistance with form-filling with a brew & a biscuit to Family Days, our team are on-hand to ensure you receive the help and support that you need.