MILITARY charity Stepway has been boosted with funds to develop its veteran outdoor community project.
The county cause is one of 85 armed forces organisations nationally to be awarded funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and the only recipient to receive the funding in Worcestershire.
The funding will help to develop and sustain the Forest Garden Project – a dynamic, therapeutic, outdoor space in the heart of Worcester for the veteran community.
The project promotes a healthy body and mind through hands-on activities from growing produce and beekeeping to taking part in outdoor activities to promote friendship and learning.
Toilets, disabled access, an outdoor kitchen and sensory garden will be among the developments on the site. Therefore, every veteran no matter their background or circumstance will be able to join in.
Dawn Turner, Stepway operations manager and co-founder, said: “All the planning was done behind the scenes by Perminder Kundi, the CEO and founder.
“He put forward a fantastic tender which highlighted the need for the existing outdoor community project to develop. Therefore, it is more assessable to all veterans both with physical and mental health conditions.
“Moreover, with this grant we can offer Kirsty Bleasby – a veteran who did 22 years’ service in the Army – a part-time position as project lead.
“The plans and operations are already under way at the project to close the gap between veterans and civilians to improve integration and inclusion for all.”
Kate La Barre, Worcestershire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership Officer, said: “In a short space of time they’ve established a drop-in centre, an outreach programme and a structured volunteering scheme for veterans to access.
“Like so many military charities working in our local communities, they adapted quickly to Covid to ensure veterans had somewhere to turn over the past year.
“Stepway quickly saw the benefits of supporting veterans outdoors in a safe and welcoming environment. We look forward to seeing the project go from strength to strength.”
Visit www.stepway.org/community-project for more.