Programme of activities

The Veteran’s Resilience through Physical Activity programme is a comprehensive programme of activities that will include tailored workshops on how to build resilience and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The programme is based on academic research within the military and undertaken by the programme team. It includes a focus on effective sleep and recovery, being physically active, good nutrition and more.

This 5-day residential programme will take place at Loughborough University. The schedule for the programme is below.

Pre-programme meeting

Pre-programme meeting

You will be invited to attend a virtual pre-meeting. This will be an opportunity to meet fellow participants and staff, as well as find out about the activities included as part of the programme. It is hoped that a veteran who has benefited from a similar programme will be available to speak about their experience during this event.

Day 1

09:00–10:00 - Arrival and Registration

Registration will take place at the Elite Athlete Hotel on the Loughborough University campus.

On arrival you will be met by the programme leads - Craig White and Jamie Barker - and be given your arrival pack and sports kit.

10:00–11:00 - Introduction, contract setting, and pre-intervention measures

  • Introduction: The introduction will provide you with the opportunity to get to know other participants and the programme leads, by sharing as much as you are comfortable with about your motivations for attending the programme.
  • Contract setting: Through contract setting you will set your individual and collective aims for the programme helping to establish a positive and inclusive learning environment.
  • Pre-evaluation measures: You will be invited to complete a health and well-being questionnaire, which will be used to track your progress through the course.

11:00-12:00 - Measuring wellbeing workshop

Rob Stephenson, founder and CEO of FormScore will introduce the FormScore app, which will enable you to enter your daily wellbeing score - from 1 (Crisis, seek help now) to 10 (Lifetime peak form) - and connect and share your score with the rest of the participants, in order to promote mutual support.

You can also nominate the drivers of your form, such as health and finances. The facilitators intend to use the FormScore app to check in daily on the participants mental health and wellbeing and hope that participants will continue to use the app after the residential course finishes.

12:00–13:00 - Lunch

Breakfast and evening meals for the residential course will be taken in the Elite Athlete Hotel. While lunches for the residential and weekly programmes will be provided in the main classroom.

Mealtimes will provide additional time for you to connect with other participants and to continue to build relationships as a group. All meals will be included and are free of charge to participants.

13:00–15:00 - Social Resilience Workshop (1)

Good social resilience is important to enable people to engage and maintain positive relationships. This workshop will focus on the groups (family, friends, work, hobbies and sport) that you belong to, and how they relate to enhancing your resilience.

You will reflect on your current group memberships and how positive and important they are to you, how supportive they are, and how compatible they are with each other. At the end of the programme, you will have created an action plan to maintain positive groups and to enhance your social resilience.

In addition, you will be encouraged to establish social connections with other participants that will hopefully continue beyond the length of the programme.

15:00–17:00 - Sleep Workshop (1)

Sleep is a critical element of mental health and wellbeing. Getting enough sleep of the right quality is crucial to improving your mental health and wellbeing.

This section of the programme will provide practical insights into how sleep affects your mental health and tips on how to enhance your sleep.

17:00–17:30 - Review

The review sessions are an opportunity to provide instant feedback on the days activities to the programme leads and to discuss what you have taken away from the day with the rest of the group.

Day 2

08:30–09:00 - Reflections

The reflections element of the programme will enable you to think about and discuss the previous days activities, following a period of reflection overnight.

09:00–12:00 - Wheelchair Basketball

There is a strong link between your physical and mental health. As such, regular physical activity has been shown to be beneficial to mental health. This introduction to Wheelchair Basketball will use low to moderate physical activities, inclusive of age and ability, to help to promote an active lifestyle.

12:00–13:00 - Lunch

Breakfast and evening meals for the residential course will be taken in the Elite Athlete Hotel. While lunches for the residential and weekly programmes will be provided in the main classroom.

Mealtimes will provide additional time for you to connect with other participants and to continue to build relationships as a group. All meals will be included and are free of charge to participants.

13:00–16:00 - Individual Resilience Workshop: Finding it Tough? (1)

Everyone struggles with life from time to time and we’ll discuss how being part of the wider RAF family brings its own unique challenges.

We’ll help you to see things differently and learn practical steps to overcome some of your biggest challenges – or those experienced by the people you care about – helping you and others to take the first steps to get back on your feet and take control of your life.

16:00–17:00 - Review

The review sessions are an opportunity to provide instant feedback on the days activities to the programme leads and to discuss what you have taken away from the day with the rest of the group.

Day 3

08:30–09:00 - Reflections

The reflections element of the programme will enable you to think about and discuss the previous days activities, following a period of reflection overnight.

09:00–10:00 - Social Resilience Workshop (2)

Good social resilience is important to enable people to engage and maintain positive relationships. This workshop will focus on the groups (family, friends, work, hobbies and sport) that you belong to, and how they relate to enhancing your resilience.

You will reflect on your current group memberships and how positive and important they are to you, how supportive they are, and how compatible they are with each other. At the end of the programme, you will have created an action plan to maintain positive groups and to enhance your social resilience.

In addition, you will be encouraged to establish social connections with other participants that will hopefully continue beyond the length of the programme.

10:00–12:00 - Yoga and Pilates

There is a strong link between your physical and mental health. As such, regular physical activity has been shown to be beneficial to mental health. This introduction to Yoga and Pilates will use low to moderate physical activities, inclusive of age and ability, to help to promote an active lifestyle.

Yoga works on all the systems of the body, including the nervous system, the organs and glands. This practice helps to calm the mind and restore energy levels, giving back vitality to the whole body.

12:00–13:00 - Lunch

Breakfast and evening meals for the residential course will be taken in the Elite Athlete Hotel. While lunches for the residential and weekly programmes will be provided in the main classroom.

Mealtimes will provide additional time for you to connect with other participants and to continue to build relationships as a group. All meals will be included and are free of charge to participants.

13:00–16:00 - Individual Resilience Workshop: Finding it Tough? (2)

Everyone struggles with life from time to time and we’ll discuss how being part of the wider RAF family brings its own unique challenges.

We’ll help you to see things differently and learn practical steps to overcome some of your biggest challenges – or those experienced by the people you care about – helping you and others to take the first steps to get back on your feet and take control of your life.

16:00–17:00 - Review

The review sessions are an opportunity to provide instant feedback on the days activities to the programme leads and to discuss what you have taken away from the day with the rest of the group.

Day 4

08:30–09:00 - Reflections

The reflections element of the programme will enable you to think about and discuss the previous days activities, following a period of reflection overnight.

09:00–12:00 - Walking Football

There is a strong link between your physical and mental health. As such, regular physical activity has been shown to be beneficial to mental health. This introduction to walking football will use low to moderate physical activities, inclusive of age and ability, to help to promote an active lifestyle.

12:00–13:00 - Lunch

Breakfast and evening meals for the residential course will be taken in the Elite Athlete Hotel. While lunches for the residential and weekly programmes will be provided in the main classroom.

Mealtimes will provide additional time for you to connect with other participants and to continue to build relationships as a group. All meals will be included and are free of charge to participants.

13:00–16:00 - Healthy Eating Workshop

Healthy eating, including what you eat and drink, plays an important role in promoting mental health and wellbeing. It can help fuel physical activity and provide you with sustained energy, which are both key to your mental health and wellbeing.

This element of the course will teach you about healthy eating and could include a practical workshop on how to make healthy meals on a budget.

16:00–17:00 - Review

The review sessions are an opportunity to provide instant feedback on the days activities to the programme leads and to discuss what you have taken away from the day with the rest of the group.

Day 5

08:30–09:00 - Reflections

The reflections element of the programme will enable you to think about and discuss the previous days activities, following a period of reflection overnight.

09:00–10:00 - Sleep Workshop (2)

Sleep is a critical element of mental health and wellbeing. Getting enough sleep of the right quality is crucial to improving your mental health and wellbeing.

This section of the programme will provide practical insights into how sleep affects your mental health and tips on how to enhance your sleep.

10:00–12:00 - Marketplace

The marketplace is an opportunity to find out what other avenues of support there are for veterans outside of the programme. Military and welfare charities will showcase their services, offering onward referral pathways, if needed.

12:00–13:00 - Lunch

Breakfast and evening meals for the residential course will be taken in the Elite Athlete Hotel. While lunches for the residential and weekly programmes will be provided in the main classroom.

Mealtimes will provide additional time for you to connect with other participants and to continue to build relationships as a group. All meals will be included and are free of charge to participants.

13:00–14:00 - Review and Evaluation Measures

The review session is an opportunity to provide feedback to the programme leads on all aspects of the programme, through a facilitated discussion and questionnaire.

You will also be invited to undertake a range of mental health and wellbeing measures as part of the programme evaluation.

14:00–15:00 - Departure

You will be able to leave campus in your own time. However, this is not the end of your engagement with the programme or your fellow attendees.

As well as being invited to a reunion at Loughborough University approximately three months after the end of the course, you will receive ongoing support from the programme team, in the form of virtual meetings to discuss how you are getting on.

Follow-up meeting

Follow-up meeting

You will be invited to a follow-up meeting at the University approximately three months after the end of the programme.

This will be an opportunity to share experiences since the end of the programme with other participants and to explain how these experiences have affected your mental health and wellbeing. It is also an opportunity to build on the connections that you made during the programme in order that they might endure beyond the life of the programme.