Silhouette of a soldier with United Kingdom flag on white background.

Veterans urged to apply for ‘life changing’ support programme

A mental wellbeing support programme for military veterans, described by previous attendees as ‘life changing’, is now welcoming new applications.

Created by Loughborough University and the Royal Air Forces Association, the programme offers short residential stays for groups of former military personnel, with activities specifically designed to enhance their mental wellbeing.

Funding by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust means six new Veterans’ Resilience Programmes can take place at the campus over the next two years, with the first being held on September 7 and 8, 2024.

Former members of all three military services – the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force – can apply to attend. Activities that participants will take part in include social resilience workshops, sessions on improving sleep quality, healthy eating and mindfulness workshops, and team-based physical activity such as wheelchair basketball.

The University first ran the Veterans’ Resilience Programme in 2022 and attendees praised the course. When asked for feedback, one veteran said ‘This programme sets the standard for how veterans struggling with their mental health and wellbeing should be helped. You gave me a safe space to work through some incredibly difficult thoughts, whilst also providing practical education in how to get and keep myself well going forward’.

Another said ‘This has now provided the light I needed and a compass of where I want to go and how to get there. I cannot thank you enough for all you have allowed me to achieve’. 

Dr Jamie Barker, from the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, is one of the creators of the programme. He said: “Many military veterans struggle with their mental health and wellbeing, which leaves them isolated and makes it difficult for them to move on with their lives. From our previous residentials we know our programme has the ability to transform lives, and we look forward to supporting even more veterans on their road to recovery.

“I would urge any veteran who feels they need some support and help with their mental wellbeing to apply.”

Laura Holding, Head of Research and Evaluation at the RAF Association, said: “We know many veterans struggle with their mental health, which is often compounded by the fact that veterans are less likely to reach out for help, compared with those without a military background.

“This programme provides a safe environment where individuals can participate in wellbeing activities alongside fellow veterans who have a shared experience. The programme has been transformational for previous participants, and we are delighted that even more veterans will be able to benefit from it.”

Find out more about the Veterans’ Resilience Programme and how to apply.


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 24/90

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. 

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme and named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2024 QS World University Rankings – the eighth year running. 

Loughborough is ranked 6th in The UK Complete University Guide 2025, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2024 and 10th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024. 

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes. 

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.