RBLI at Athena Herd Foundation
Athena Herd Foundation is developing an important relationship with the team and veterans at Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI). RBLI are based at their village site near Aylesford, North Kent. RBLI at Athena Herd Foundation creates experiences that compliment the powerful work that they are doing for veterans. “RBLI is a national charity supporting the Armed Forces, people with disabilities and people who are unemployed.” – (to quote their website). It is an important service for veterans. Aiming to inspire and improve lives by supporting them to find work and live independently.
We are working with them to develop and provide impactful learning programmes for small groups of veterans. These are designed to provide a mixture of resilience, self development and wellbeing skills (such as yoga and mindfulness). Each session being supported by Equine Facilitated interactions with the Athena herd.
They are also enjoying more leisurely camping events with us during the summer months.
What are we doing together?
RBLI at Athena Herd Foundation aims to deliver learning programmes and social events that provide not just valuable skills-based learning. But also important opportunities to spend some relaxing time with their comrades as a group away the Village.
Those that have visited us so far report that they are taking away useful everyday skills that help them to support and manage their own emotional wellbeing. They are also reporting that their visits bring a lot enjoyment, and are a source of much talked about and very pleasurable memories.
We are also looking forward to developing in 2022 opportunities for volunteer work on site, as well as the development of some practical qualifications around animal care and land management skills.
Feedback from the Community
One attendee, Alan Matthews, was good enough to share his personal reflection of the benefits of our work.
“By applying myself to the programme I am now in a better place to be able to deal with my PTSD.
I now use the breathing and meditation techniques taught to me to control my stress and anxiety.
Working with the horses, entering their space and gaining their trust has been very beneficial and absolutely fantastic. Learning to trust as they learnt to trust me and welcoming me into the herd has renewed my faith that it can happen again in my life and not to be so self-isolated and distrustful of everyone. I would encourage anyone who is unsure about Mindfulness to join in and let it do for you what it’s done for me.”
You can read more about one of their visits to us in our blog post a weekend with heroes. This is also covered in their 2021 AGM video (below) provides an a great summary of the valuable work that they are doing for the veteran community and includes reference and video from their visits to us last year.