14 London Street, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 2PA
Achievement: Learning: Involvement: Veterans: Experiences:
ACHIEVEMENT may be hard
To recognise some times
It may take someone else
To read between the lines
The concept of the ALIVE Program was developed from observations and feedback from individual veterans who took part in the 'Union Flag Walks' and on various fund raising activities during 2010.
The benefits to those veterans taking part soon became apparent when the changes in individual's behaviour, self-esteem and confidence levels were observed. Veterans In Action (VIA) met with the University Veterans Institute (UVI) in Cardiff, and they studied what VIA was doing and found similar programmes being run in the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia based on Adventure Therapy for juveniles.
LEARNING is a curve
To acknowledge all you've done
Recognition of the fight you've fought
And personal battles won
These programmes were studied and worked on so that they would work with the veterans who come to VIA for help and did not include the fundraising aspects which is something that is unique to VIA.
VIA, UVI and Mind, Body NLP who supplies our Communication and Leadership training developed this concept further and this year we launched the ALIVE Program.
INVOLVEMENT is the key
To unlock your doubts and fears
And work towards a future
Without anger, isolation and tears
The ALIVE Program has Three Stages and there are no time limits for the individual stages and veterans can join at any time. Veterans can join each stage at different times, as their progress can be affected by their personal situation and circumstances.
The First stage is a veteran being introduced to VIA and its team members, and the initial introduction can be through meeting the teams on their fund raising activities, through family and friends, referrals through other armed forces veteran charities, social networking sites and through the internet.
VIA will work with any veteran without making any judgements on what has happened prior to the initial introduction to VIA.
A mutual trust and rapport will develop between the VIA team members and the veteran. The majority of the VIA team members at present are veterans themselves and have been trained in VIA's Communication and Leadership Courses and have had similar experiences to those individuals who come to VIA for help.
VETERANS are a family
A community full of pride
Working with each other
All standing side by side
This initial stage works on the individual's personal growth and development through being involved within a team, working alongside other veterans and VIA Team Leaders in a controlled environment.
This helps individuals rebuild their confidence, which in turn helps to rebuild self belief and self esteem.
Once a veteran is ready to move forward onto Stage Two, they are encouraged to take part in outdoor activities which can include walking, camping, canoeing, rock climbing, bush craft and other events that are organised by VIA or the individuals themselves. This essentially provides a platform to build growth and the development of new and old skills in a therapeutic environment.
The events that veterans take part in involve working within a team environment where each veteran can feel part of a team again; many veterans lose this when they have left the armed forces. VIA provide the platform the emphasis and personal achievement is up to each individual.
EXPERIENCES are to teach us
Just what we can achieve
So endeavour for recognition
And in yourself believe
"It is not how far you have travelled that counts, but the personal achievement gained from how far you have travelled!"
Stage Three can involve joining VIA's Fundraising Teams, where each individual has a part to play in their own and in others personal development.
VIA encourage all individuals to play a part in the Fundraising Teams as raising funds will not only fund further training and activities that they themselves can benefit but also those they work alongside with. Fundraising with VIA is not only about collecting funds. The process has been thought out as a way of individual's working within a team and social interaction with the public based on empathy and a way of raising confidence, self esteem and self belief.
VIA fund accredited and recognised training courses, where, in so many cases the qualifications and training gained through their service career does not have a civilian equivalent.
VIA will look at the civilian equivalent and if necessary start training at the basic level, the veteran will have qualifications and training courses that can lead to future employment opportunities.
VIA also encourage veterans into Higher Education through further education colleges and universities. Any veteran who wants to progress onto further education will be given an initial guidance interview with a VIA Career Guidance Advisor who will refer to the relevant college for further education or to the University Veterans Institute for higher education and degree advice.
VIA will continually assess the veteran's progress and development during their participation in the ALIVE Program. VIA will select future Team Leaders, identify where individual training is required, fund the training through its fund raising activities and then support the individual by giving them the opportunity to deliver particular aspects of training they enjoy, this training will be used for veterans on the Stage Two of the ALIVE Program.
Now take the first of these letters
Of which there are just Five
And use them as inspiration
And live like you're A.L.I.V.E.
The above poem is copywright of:
© Avril Young 2011