Charity Community Local News

Veterans Charity VIA continue to help themselves by
supporting others in need

Veterans in Action Charity have continued to gather medical aid, trauma packs and recently a defibrillator to deliver by convoy to Poland, working in conjunction with Polish Partners to ensure aid can be delivered and distributed to those that are in need, using not only VIA Vehicles but also hire vehicle enabling increased capacity to cater the amount of aid that has been delivered.

Not only have VIA been working closely within the local community, but also attracting attention further a field, with donations and support now coming in nationwide, some even from across the seas as far as America. Having just completed the fourth trip to Poland, over 10 tonnes of medical aid has been delivered over the past few weeks by Veterans in Action.

Several veterans joined this latest trip, each challenged with PTSD and a part of the post traumatic growth programme with VIA, each thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the aid convoy and even found the confidence to do an interview on Polish TV (check out our YouTube Channel to see the video) The vehicles used to deliver the aid would usually be used by Veterans in Action as part of their expeditions, a valuable expedition usually carried out in support of veterans that may have previously suffered the effects of war or found transition to civilian life challenging.

Billy Macleod from VIA say’s “Although we are taking aid out to Ukraine, as always our main aim at Veterans In Action is the veterans we help, those we support have been fully involved in this operation, be it, collecting items, loading items or indeed taking part on the convoys”

Dan T shares his thoughts on his recent involvement with Veteran In Action “After being medically discharged after 18 years service I really struggled to find a purpose in the world, I have been having treatment coming up to 8 years now and tried numerous medications all of which offered some respite but little relief in the grand scheme of things.

I started my own business which gave me something to concentrate on and occupy my mind, but after a recent turn in my physical health I found myself off work and at home and ruminating once again. With that came the nightmares and the big dip I’d tried so hard to avoid, Add to that the feeling of uselessness and a feeling of needing to do something to assist with the Ukraine situation I reached out to Billy and the team and offered my services in driving Aid to wherever it was needed. So I’d taken the daunting step at reaching out for help once again, Billy said I would be more than welcome to join the team and he wasn’t kidding, I was made to feel welcome from the very first moment I arrived at the centre.

“I was quickly put to work in the loading of boxes into the hire vans and banter started. I must say it was the most normal/comfortable I’d felt in months it was just like “The good old days” I thought. Then we had a couple of hours Kip before setting off, unfortunately the nightmares came calling and once the guys realised I was ok had a giggle and said keep the noise down which strangely enough made me feel better about things “Squaddie humour” .

We started the mammoth drive across to Poland taking it in turns driving shifts, had a good old chat with like minded people much better than any talking therapy I’ve done as there were no holds barred and they could REALLY relate. Once we hit Poland we stopped off for a few hours kip, and I was out like a light and nightmare free. Then we reached the destination, and the feeling once the final box off aid came off the van was amazing, a sense of pride purpose and achievement and the motto “Helping Ourselves By Helping Others” has never been more true, you’ve no idea how much I needed this Billy”.

Keith T shared his experience too: “Having returned from Poland with the last trip with Veterans in Action I have had time to reflect on what it means for me. I was worried I might be a liability to the others, I am not a spring chicken and because of medical reasons I can’t lift anything, even driving a manual vehicle might have been a problem.

“The night before we left I didn’t sleep well, not a good start, just adding to my self doubts. In France it was my time to drive, it was with trepidation I pulled onto the motorway. Three hours later, I felt a new person, back to being part of team, and a chance to do something that would help others, while helping myself. Throughout the trip my worries disappeared to be replaced by a great sense of achievement and more importantly part of a team.

“Many of you will know I have been with Veterans in Action about six years, I have had my ups and downs but I have improved my mental health to a point that I can live a near normal life. This trip proved to me that even as an OAP I can still help others, and maybe the only thing holding me back from doing more was my own self doubts. So again thanks to everyone at Veterans in Action.

“Finally thanks to everyone who has donated goods, money and time to helping the people of Ukraine, we were only the delivery driver, it’s you that made this possible. This is the reality of the funds we receive, they are helping us change lives and at the same time help others”.

Veterans In Action is committed to helping veterans unlock the potential they have to make a difference throughout their lives not only for themselves and their family but also their standing in our community where they can develop projects to help others, this is the true definition of Post-Traumatic Growth To donate to VIA, or find out more about how you or your business can support Veterans in Action, please contact billy.macleod@veteransinaction.org.uk.

Veterans in Action would also like to thank everyone that has donated and continues to show their support. A special thank you to J Chandler & Co (Buckfast Tonic Wine) who recently donated £5000 to help Veterans in Action with the work they have been doing of late, this is the second generous donation Veterans in Action have received, with the first being for £3000 during lockdown when VIA were delivering supplies locally to those in need during Covid

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