• The Old Grain Store, Redenham Park, Near Andover, Hampshire, SP11 9AQ
  • 01264 771658

An In-depth Exploration of the ALIVE Programme by Veterans in Action

Veterans in Action

The ALIVE Programme is an innovative initiative by Veterans in Action (VIA), a UK-based charity committed to aiding veterans, particularly those grappling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The programme is meticulously designed to assist veterans in transforming negatives into positives, thereby creating a ‘safe place’ where they can grow, harness their skills, and improve their lives and those around them.

The Five Pillars of ALIVE: A Closer Look

The ALIVE programme is built around five key pillars: Achieve, Learn, Inspire, Value, and Experience. Each pillar plays a pivotal role in the journey of the veterans involved in the programme, providing a comprehensive framework for their growth and development.

Achieve

In the military, service personnel are trained to accomplish tasks that often exceed their initial expectations. This training instils a strong sense of achievement, pushing them to strive for success. However, upon leaving the services, some veterans can lose sight of this sense of achievement. The ALIVE programme aims to reignite this sense of accomplishment, reminding veterans that despite their struggles, they can still achieve remarkable things. Veterans are encouraged to recognise their achievements, no matter how small they may seem, fostering a positive mindset and boosting their self-esteem.

Learn

Experiential learning is a significant part of the ALIVE programme. The programme emphasises that the best way to learn is through experiences. These experiences then stick out in the mind, aiding in retaining information and remembering facts. The ALIVE programme provides a platform for this kind of learning, offering veterans a variety of projects and challenges that allow them to learn by doing.

Inspire

The military environment is often filled with inspirational figures who motivate service personnel to achieve more than they believe possible. The ALIVE programme recreates this environment, providing a setting where veterans can be inspired by those who emulate the characteristics they desire for themselves. The programme also enables veterans to inspire others, leading them to success even during difficult times. This aspect of the programme not only helps veterans regain their self-confidence but also allows them to play a pivotal role in inspiring and motivating their peers.

Value

Value in the ALIVE programme context is an appreciation of usefulness or worth. It helps those within the programme to determine what is important to them. Value also provides a sense of purpose and achievement, such as taking part in an expedition or helping those in need during a crisis. Ultimately, value is about gaining self-worth and measuring personal well-being and growth. It encourages veterans to value their contribution to the group or project, fostering a sense of self-worth and boosting their morale.

Experience

Veterans have a wealth of experience in various fields and situations. The ALIVE programme enables veterans to harness these experiences in a positive way by immersing themselves in long-term projects. This helps veterans to use their experiences to assist those they are working with, fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual support. It also allows veterans to utilise their skills and experiences in a constructive and rewarding manner.

The Impact of the ALIVE Programme: A Testament to Transformation

The ALIVE programme has had a profound impact on the lives of many veterans. It has helped them regain control of their lives, find a sense of belonging, and even start their own businesses. The programme provides a long-term approach to helping veterans grow within a project, working alongside their peers. This approach positively impacts mood and stress levels, helping veterans to stop thinking negatively, concentrate, learn new skills, and be part of building something meaningful.

In conclusion, the ALIVE programme by Veterans in Action is a beacon of hope for veterans dealing with PTSD and other challenges. By focusing on achievement, learning, inspiration, value, and experience, the programme is helping veterans to transform their lives and build a brighter future.

For more information about the ALIVE programme and other initiatives by Veterans in Action, visit http://veteransinaction.org.uk/alive/

Veterans Mental Health Awareness Standard
The confederation of service charities
Veterans In Action is a Registered Charity No. 1128026
LOCATION
Veterans in Action
The Old Grain Store
Redenham Park
Near Andover
Hampshire
SP11 9AQ
CONTACT
  • 01264 771658
  • info@veteransinaction.org.uk
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Virtual Challenges

The Three Challenges

ALIVE VIRTUAL CHALLENGES are unique compared to those you might find through an internet search. These challenges not only make a difference for yourself but also for military veterans who have experienced the effects of war or who have struggled with transitioning to civilian life.

Unlike traditional challenges where you simply pay a fee and receive a medal, our challenges are all about MAKING A DIFFERENCE by raising funds equivalent to the mileage you complete.

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I needed focus I needed something to fill my time, well maybe not fill my time but something to focus on like a target, a needed to get back my drive.

I started to help VIA ‘Veterans In Action’ and found something that I could do, use the old skills that I learnt in the army and more since I left which I did not register I had.

I had been missing that motivation to do something that I wanted to do and gain that level of self-gratification and achievement.

Everybody has a skill set, but it’s the motivation to use it we can lose, VIA have various projects on the go all the time, hopefully I have found my niche to help them and myself to gain personal gratification by being  a member of a team again and a job well done.

After discussions I realised that it’s this which advances my mental well-being and my ongoing fight against depression and the feeling of worthlessness.

I have woken up, helping hand in hand with fellow soldiers suffering from labelled disorders finding strength from weakness, realising what helps them generally does helps me, the recognition has been an awakening.”

Ian ‘Chalky’ White former 17th/21st Lancers and B Sqn 22 SAS

Veterans In Action have been filming our expeditions for many years for our YouTube Channel, Veterans Expeditions Overland, and through this experience of not only running the expeditions but also capturing footage that enables veterans who have taken part in a place of reference to recapture how they felt by taking part.

The Veterans In Focus project enables veterans to learn new skills and record not only the expeditions we run but also the day-to-day work on all projects connecting them all together so everyone feels involved in all aspects of the work we do.

VIA take a long-term approach to helping veterans who suffer to enable them to grow within a project working alongside their peers. All this can be achieved within this project which can be ongoing and would allow veterans to learn new skills or to pass on skills learned during their time in the services

Some of the outcomes of the project are a sense of purpose, regaining confidence and working in an environment alongside other veterans where they can instantly feel relaxed, chilled-out, secure, and safe.

Veterans can work at their own pace, stop thinking negatively, concentrate, learn new skills, be part of building something, and most importantly where problems are understood this will positively impact mood and stress levels.

For those involved in the project, they can also get involved on an expedition HERE

I became involved with VIA in 2010 after my life took a turn for the worse and was invited along to do some fundraising with them.  This helped me no end and in time my life got back on track.  I completed a Union Flag Walk with them from Cape Wrath to Land’s End which again helped as walking and talking with other veterans with similar stories was a great help in understanding how I was feeling.  I gained control of my life again.

In 2019, I took part in an overland expedition travelling through the Spanish Pyrenees and whilst away my life took a turn for the worse again due to family problems back in the UK.  On my return I had to start again and rebuild and focus on the future and with the help of Veterans In Action I got back on track and took control.

I now own and run my own courier business.

Mark Colman former Royal Engineers

To date, we have travelled 25,000 miles travelling through 30 different countries and some of them several times both on overland expeditions for humanitarian aid through the pandemic and more recently supplying medical humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

It is important to note that to take part in one of our overland expeditions we insist that veterans get involved in the BUILD IT part of the project. The reason for this is part of the Post Traumatic Growth process which is our method for helping veterans so that veterans can grow within a team of their peers, learning new skills and relearning old skill sets that may have been forgotten after service.

Leading up to an expedition involves expedition training which will include off-road driving, navigation, camp setups, camp cooking and daily maintenance, something most veterans will understand from their time in the services.

It would be unfair for any individual to turn up on the day of an expedition who hadn’t previously been involved as everyone else would have been working together over a long period of time so due to the very nature of the mental health problems of those we take out on expedition turning up on day 1 for any individual could become very difficult to find where they fit in no matter how welcoming everyone was.

It is the involvement long-term on building the vehicles that enable veterans to grow that gets them to a place where they fully enjoy all aspects of the expedition experience starting from the minute that an overland expedition sets off.