Find out more about the Developing Veterans’ Resilience through Physical Activity Programme.

The programme

What does the programme cost?

The programme is free for participants. This includes all the activities during the programme, your accommodation in the Elite Athlete Hotel for the residential course and all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner for the residential course, and lunch only for the weekly programme).

Is the programme content theoretical or practical?

The programme includes a combination of theoretical and practical content. The programme will include theoretical content regarding resilience (What it is? How does it affect me? What can I do to further enhance my resilience?). The programme will also include theoretical content regarding healthy eating and sleep.

In addition, the programme includes practical content, such as completing social identity mapping to identify which group memberships are important and meaningful to you. Further, there will be a range of physical activities included in the programme, such as walking football, wheelchair basketball, yoga and pilates.

What level of physical activity will the programme include?

The programme will include low to moderate physical activity. The programme is open to participants with all levels of physical activity and can accommodate most accessibility requirements.

Do I have to take part in all the activities?

No, the course is run on a ‘challenge by choice’ basis, where all participants can opt out of an activity either before or during the activity.

What mental health and wellbeing support will be available during the course?

During the activities, the facilitators, Craig and Jamie, will be responsible for supporting your mental health and wellbeing. They are both trained in supporting people with mental health and wellbeing issues, and you can approach them at any time.

Further, during the evening and night time, a dedicated mental health support worker will be available to support your needs.

Does the programme offer networking opportunities?

Yes, there will be opportunities to network with your fellow participants and the facilitators. During the residential course there will be further chances to network both before and after the days programme, for example during breakfast, dinner and in the evening.

One of the key objectives for the programme is to build a sense of unity and togetherness within the group, which will hopefully continue after the programme has finished. Additionally, there will be opportunities to network with people from armed forces charities who can potentially offer further support after the end of the programme.

When will the programme take place

Future course dates are due to be released in due course. If you are interested in signing up for a future course, please email: VeteransResilience@mailbox.lboro.ac.uk.

In addition to the one week programme, a follow-up meeting at Loughborough University over a weekend will take place approximately three months after the residential programme.

Admission and Registration

Who is eligible for admission onto the programme?

To be eligible for the programme you will need to be a UK Armed Forces veteran, defined as having served for a minimum of one day in the Royal Navy, Army, or Royal Air Force as a regular or reserve.

Your permanent address will need to be within the East Midlands, and you will need to be suffering from mental health and well-being issues (including self-diagnosis).

What is the process of admission onto the programme?

Applications will open on 3 January 2022 and will close on 28 February 2022. 

You will be required to fill out a short application form, to confirm that you meet the following criteria: 

  • You have served in the UK Armed Forces as a regular or reserve for 'one days service and one days pay'. Proof of service will be required as part of the application process.
  • That your permanent address is within the East Midlands. Proof of location will be required.
  • That you make a self declaration stating: 'I have suffered with my mental health and wellbeing during the previous 12 months'.
    (You will have to self-declare your mental health status without having to provide proof of seeking assistance, for example from your GP.)
  • That you are not receiving 'therapy' at the time of the programme, as this could affect the evaluation of the efficacy of the programme.
  • That you are able to engage with the majority of the programme.
    (The programme will be run on a 'challenge by choice' basis so that you will be able to opt out of elements of the programme, but must be in a position to complete the majority of the activities.)
  • That you will uphold the core values and required behaviour for the programme.

A selection panel will sit to consider all applications submitted during the week commencing 7 March 2022 and you will be informed that week whether or not you have been successful.

The selection panel will prioritise on need and capability to engage with the programme.

What is the cancellation policy if I am unable to attend?

If you have been selected for the programme, you are able to cancel if you are subsequently unable to attend.

A reserve list of potential participants will be established as part of the selection panel. If you are unable to attend your place will be offered to the next person on the reserve list.

How will the programme be evaluated?

You will be invited to complete questionnaires at the start of the programme and again at the end.

In addition, you will be invited to complete a questionnaire at the reunion, as well as being interviewed by one of the programme team. Participation in the evaluation is voluntary.

The evaluation of the programme is key to ensure that it is effective in enhancing individual resilience. The evaluation will also be intended to be used as part of academic research and the results are intended to be published in an academic journal.

I enjoyed doing the activities and the sports... but the academic stuff was just brilliant - the sleep, the mindfulness, the Finding it Tough course… was all really positive.”

Military veteran