Armed Forces Support at Woody's Lodge

A Veteran’s Story: Finding their feet with Woodys

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Meet a Veteran

The veterans that visit us at Woody’s Lodge vary in ages, background and experience, from WW2 veterans to those who’ve served in recent conflicts such as in Afghanistan, as well as from every conflict in between. Many of the veterans that we meet are struggling with physical or mental health challenges; we approach these challenges in an environment that provides support, safety, care and friendship. In addition, our space is also for the friends and families of our veterans, offering a neutral setting to reconnect with their loved ones as well as creating new friends for the future.

Find out more about one of the veterans that visit us at Woody’s Lodge, he is in his early 50s and served as a Combat Medic in the British Army. He has asked to remain anonymous but is happy for his story to be shared to inspire other veterans to inspire them to seek the help that they need.

A veteran’s struggle

Currently, he suffers with both mental and physical health issues including PTSD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and suicidal tendencies. In addition, he also has restricted mobility due to chronic neck and lower back pains. He has been receiving treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for nearly 7 years and has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act several times.

Whilst he had heard of us here at Woody’s Lodge and had come to visit, it was largely on a social basis, looking for contact with his peers and to socialise. He mentioned that he was struggling with his Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and we got involved, providing him with a Support Worker.

When he was requested to attend a PIP review at an assessment centre in Cardiff, he felt overwhelmed. He called the PIP office and requested a home visit instead. However, this was denied when he became agitated on the phone; this began months of stress and worry. During this time, he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, which meant that he wasn’t able to contact the DWP about his PIP payments. However, his Support Worker here at Woody’s Lodge, was able to continue calling and contacting the DWP to ensure that his PIP continued.  

Whilst he is now back home, the wait for mental health referrals is a long wait. He still had to attend the assessment for his PIP review, but because of the stressful situation he was in, we decided that our CEO David Trotman and his mother would accompany him on his assessment. 

PIP assessments and reviews are generally incredibly stressful and difficult, and our veteran found it difficult to answer the questions. However, with David and his mother’s help, they got through it. After the assessment, our veteran became very distressed, so his Support Worker here at Woody’s contacted the DWP and asked for an urgent decision to be made. Just two days later, he was awarded the enhanced rate of PIP, which means an extra £60 a week. Plus, he has also been awarded a Blue Badge for his restricted mobility.

Our veteran continues to come to Woody’s Lodge on a regular basis and definitely seems to be in a better frame of mind. Whilst his day to day challenges are still ongoing, we are glad that we were able to help with his PIP review so that he at least has some financial stability whilst he works through his health challenges.

If you’re experiencing similar issues to our veteran, we can help. For information, or if you’d like to come in and speak to our team, you can get in touch by calling 07562916312 (South Wales) or 07731417974 (North Wales). You can also email us: [email protected].

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