At Woody’s Lodge, we are driven by Woody’s dream to build a safe space in a log cabin for his family to live in. It has become our dream to give those who have served a meeting space where they can re-engage with their lives and relationships. Which then enables them to build their confidence to begin again post-service in a positive and fulfilling way.
Many of the veterans that we meet are struggling under the weight of physical or mental health challenges; at Woody’s Lodge, we approach these challenges in an environment that provides support, safety, care and friendship. Our space is also for the friends and families of our veterans, allowing them to reconnect with their loved ones as well as creating new friends for the future.
Primarily, those who come to us for help & support across a wide range of topics including: Housing, benefits & pensions as well as health challenges. In addition, we can also offer veterans a meeting place where they have the chance to socialise with their peers from across the Army, the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force, along with those who have served in the Reserved Forces. Those who come to us vary in ages, background and experience, from WW2 veterans to those who’ve served in recent conflicts such as in Afghanistan, as well as every conflict in between.
Sometimes the veterans that come to us are missing the camaraderie of serving, other times they’re struggling with adjusting back to family life. If you’re a veteran who’s in this position and are looking for some help and support or perhaps the chance to socialise with others who’ve had a similar experience to yourself, Woody’s Lodge is here for you.
A veteran’s journey
We have a veteran that 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 seek the help that they need.
Currently, he suffers with both mental and physical health issues including: PTSD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and suicidal tendencies and 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. However, he had heard of Woody’s Lodge and had come to visit us.
When he was requested to attend a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) review at an assessment centre in Cardiff, he felt overwhelmed. He called the PIP office and asked if it would be possible to have a home visit instead. This was denied after he became agitated on the phone and began months of stress and worry for our veteran.
In this time, he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, which meant that he wasn’t able to get in contact with DWP. However, his Support Worker here at Woody’s Lodge, was able to continue calling and contacting the DWP to ensure that his PIP didn’t disappear.
Whilst he is now back home, the wait for mental health referrals and help is a long one. However, he still had to attend the assessment for his PIP review in Cardiff, due to the stressful situation he was in, it was decided that our CEO David Trotman and his mother would accompany him on his assessment.
PIP assessments and reviews are 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.
Two days later, he was awarded the enhanced rate of PIP, which means an extra £60 a week. In addition, he has also been awarded a Blue Badge for his restricted mobility.
He continues to come to Woody’s Lodge on a regular basis and seems to be in a better frame of mind. His day to day challenges are still ongoing, however, we are glad that we were able to help with his PIP review so that he at least has some financial stability.
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.
Woody’s Lodge South Wales
Amelia Trust Farm
5 Mile Lane
Tel: 01446 781792
Woody’s Lodge North Wales
Tel: 01492 533954
You can also email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.