Over the last 8 years Veterans In Action have run a series of long distance walking expeditions across the UK covering a distance of 13,000 miles with over 500 veterans taking part who have suffered the effects of war or who have found the transition to civilian life difficult.
Veterans Expeditions Overland will take a new approach to this tried and proven way of helping veterans who suffer from mental health issues whilst maintaining the expedition nature and skill sets.
The project is in three distinct phases
Starting in November 2017 VIA began THE BUILD PHASE to strip and build 4 Land Rovers and prepare them to expedition standard. This phase of the project is still under way and due to finish by the 31st of August 2018 with all work being undertaken carried out by veterans and serving personnel.
Part of the project is to bring serving personnel and veterans together to help break down barriers between both communities and to introduce serving personnel to charitable organisations who may be able to help them once they leave the services easing transition from military to civilian life.
The main aims of the project is to enable veterans who may have found themselves to be socially isolated after leaving the service to once more become a valuable member of a team which in turn will help rebuild their confidence, self-esteem and self-belief.
During THE BUILD Phase of the expedition veterans, some suffering from the effects of war will be trained on all aspects of expedition planning, off road driving, recovery, vehicle maintenance, Bushcraft, navigation, setting up camp, camp cooking and first aid.
Weekend expeditions will then be set up once vehicles are ready to get the team working together in the field using skills learned to become well rehearsed in all aspects of being on an expedition.
On the 31st of August 2018 the team will embark on an Overland Expedition and will drive from the UK to Greece and back, a journey of 7,000 miles for a duration of 6 weeks. passing through 14 different countries.
There is no better training than live training in the field and the expedition will bring all the expedition skills learned prior to the set off.
COUNTRIES ON ROUTE
As a separate part of the project the V-EX TEAM will be filming all aspects of the build which will become part of a YOU TUBE series of films leading up the expedition which will set off on September 01st 2018.
Phase 3 of the project will be ongoing and will bring all expeditions skills and experience together to help veterans suffering from PTSD on mini expeditions across the UK and internationally.
As an extension of this the trained team will then run mini expeditions aimed at serving personnel, veterans’, local community and their families as a way of breaking down barriers between 3 distinct communities.
The nature of the military means that families tend to be apart for much of the time leaving young people from service families without their mother or father for periods of time which can cause emotional and behavioural problems.
The trained team of veterans will take parent and child groups out initially on off road experience days which will then progress to weekend events with an overnight stay with expedition camp set up using vehicle borne tents and expedition kitchen.
As the project progresses the team will look at different locations around the country allowing us to reach more people and undertake longer expeditions around the UK.
Again the project is ideally situated next to the largest military garrison in the UK, Tidworth Garrison which by 2020 there will be 15,000 serving personnel plus their families.
It is estimated that there is 1 suicide per month from the serving community and many more who suffer from mental health issues which affects not only the soldier but also the family.
In addition to this there are many veterans who suffer the effects of war who once entering civilian life can become isolated and no longer become part of MOD statistics but numbers taking their own lives has reached huge numbers and rising all the time, something the MOD denies.
Veterans Expeditions Overland although not a huge project will tackle this problem by inviting veterans to become part of this growing veterans community…………..Veterans Expeditions Overland.
In the near future we will be starting a membership scheme so people can become involved with the project
To keep up with our progress during the build, expedition and post expedition or to get involved follow the link and like our page and invite your friends to do the same.