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

Patron

VIA
PATRON

Lieutenant General Sir Mark Mans
KCB CBE DL

Lieutenant General Sir Mark Mans was commissioned into the Corps of Royal Engineers in 1974 and in a long and varied military career saw regimental and operational service worldwide. He rose to high rank and held a number of senior appointments including Commander Regional Forces, Adjutant General to the Forces and Chief Royal Engineer.

Sir Mark is now pursuing a portfolio career as a mentor and advisor and also devotes much of his time to charities that support military personnel, veterans and young people. In addition to being the Patron of the Veterans in Action charity, he is a Hampshire Deputy Lieutenant, the County Patron of The Royal British Legion, a Vice Patron of the Ulysses Trust, a Champion for the Defence Medical Welfare Service and is a member of the Scientific Exploration Society.

His interests focus in the main on sport, sadly increasingly as a spectator rather than a player. He is an Honorary Vice President of the Army Rugby Union, the Royal Engineers Rugby Football Club and the Royal Engineers Cricket Club and is also chairman of his local cricket club.

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.

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

The idea for the Made by Veterans project started as far back as 2011 on one of our long-distance walking expeditions where we were camped next to a river in Scotland and were getting the evening meal over an open fire using a Dutch Oven.

The veterans on the walk were given a carving tool and told to carve themselves a spoon for their meal. We observed the concentration on their faces and the laughs within the group were great to see we knew by focusing on something enabled them to engage with others and produce something they could use.

Fast forward several years and we now teach veterans to design merchandise including printing mugs, pring clothing and also to embroidering clothing.

We have been doing this for many years now and the reality is most veterans initially are a bit reticent to get involved but once they do they become very enthusiastic.

All items made are used on our expeditions and also sold to the public with all funds going back into the project and also to fund other projects that the veterans get involve on

I was suffering badly and never believed I would make anything of my life again as I truly didn’t feel capable!

I discovered VIA in Feb 2020 and got involved in building the vehicles and I was given a true sense of belonging again, I went every day I could manage and pushed myself to go even on those days you feel you just can’t!

In combination with therapy with TILS and being a member of VIA, I have rediscovered myself.

VIA is a post-traumatic growth charity and since being here I’ve certainly done that; I’ve grown and can happily say that I am now back in full-time employment with a family and a future!

It is thanks to VIA that I have grown, and I still go to VIA on my days off continuing in my growth, thank you!

Stephen Reilly former RMP

Many veterans become socially isolated after leaving the Forces and can struggle to adjust to civilian life, this project brings a group of veterans together who support each other, in many different ways and veterans, once more feel a sense of belonging something they often miss once leaving service.

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 allow veterans to 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 in an expedition (USE IT)