This Tuesday Hugs had its very first Veteran’s Well-Being Day. It was a trial day run in partnership with The Veterans Farm-Able Foundation to help those suffering from a variety of problems including PTSD and the challenges of transitioning from military to civilian life.
The day consisted of an introduction to Hugs, tour of the facilities, introduction to Equine Assisted Interventions and practical tasks, such as yard duties and animal care. The purpose of the trial day was to see what worked and what didn’t work, from both staff and participants points of view, to allow us to create a full project for a group of veterans to come to Hugs regularly.
The idea of the project is to enable and empower the veteran’s through working alongside the Hugs rescue ponies. The veterans will be contributing to making positive changes to the ponies lives, helping them rehabilitate and find their forever home and second chance. In turn, this will help the veterans to move on themselves, find a purpose in their own lives and build relationships once again.
Aims:
• Increase general well-being
• Decrease symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety etc.
• Increase social inclusion
• Help with transition from military to civilian life
• Help find purpose and drive once more
• Help build relationships and trust with both humans and animals
• Create a support network of civilians and peers
• Recognition of coping strengths and abilities and acknowledgement and addressing of ability to adapt
Feedback from the trial day was excellent. All participants outwardly showed they were enjoying their time at Hugs and data collected showed a very clear positive increase in their mental well-being.
The next stage for Hugs, is to analyse feedback from the staff and participants and create a full project for groups of veterans from The Veterans Farm-Able Foundation to attend and hopefully secure funding to run the project. We will then look at reaching out to more veterans across Cornwall and Devon. Fingers crossed it can be organised and implemented in the near future, we all know help for veterans is very much needed.
Huge thank you to the staff at The Veterans Farm-Able Foundation and the participants for taking part. The team at Hugs are over the moon that their perseverance and passion in helping veterans well-being is becoming a reality 🥰