British Army Troops

A Veteran’s Story: a fresh start

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The veterans who visit us at Woody’s Lodge will often have varying challenging backgrounds, from health difficulties to struggling financially. Here at Woody’s Lodge, we approach the challenges our veterans, emergency services leavers and their families face in a supportive environment. Find out more about one of our veterans that visits us, Brian, and how he became central to our veterans at Woody’s!

Our Veterans: Brian

Brian* is 70 years old and a veteran, he served in the British Army for 14 years, during the 1970’s and 80’s. 

21 years, ago, Brian suffered a cerebral aneurism which affected his speech and mobility. “It was a long road to recovery and I still have bad days, plus since then I have not been able to hold down a job.”

“I heard about Woody’s Lodge in 2016 and came along to give it a try”.

Brian became central to welcoming veterans, reservists, Emergency Services leavers and their families visiting us here at Woody’s Lodge! He became the man to go to for a brew and a chat. Growing in confidence, Brian was able to discuss with Woody’s staff the problems he had been having with housing benefits and HMRC. He was facing growing levels of debt as well as the possibility of losing his home. He was also losing touch with other veterans living in Barry area. We were able to plan, guide and support Brian in re-establishing contact with Housing Agencies and other Local Authorities and get his finances under control. 

Given his enthusiasm for Woodys, and his ability to make veterans and emergency services leavers feel welcome and socialise with new visitors, we offered Brian a paid role as General Assistant at our Amelia Trust Farm location which he undertook in April 2017.   

Brian has led presentations at Woody’s public events, he has joined in staff training and is always the first point of contact in making people welcome.

Brian says: “Woody’s Lodge has put my life straight again, I now have a job, a secure home and finances and a sense of purpose and whole new bunch of friends, who would have believed that at the age of 70!”   

*name has been changed

Our team is able to offer a wealth of support and signposting, from benefits and housing to NHS Referrals. So, if you, or someone you know, is a veteran, an emergency services leaver or their families, why not see how we can help? 

Not only do we have Veteran Drop-in Centres across Wales, we also host regular events such as our very popular Partners and Children Lunches at our Barry site. Take a look at What’s On at Woody’s to stay up-to-date with everything we have going on here at Woody’s Lodge

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