Woodland Group To Help Our Heroes
12th July 2019

Woodland Group To Help Our Heroes

Bexley Council is setting up a new wellbeing group at Lesnes Abbey to support ex-service personnel living with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

‘Woodland Warriors’ is for anyone with a history of public service who may not be employed. The small, supportive group aims to meet at least once a week to help with the upkeep of the historical site’s wooded grounds.

Group activities will be led by Fay Smith, a Countryside and Open Space Management Intern at the Council, with support from Revd (Major) Andrew White CF, the Officiating Chaplain at Woolwich Barracks. Fay, who is very passionate about the project and has personal experience of PTSD, says: “it is important to give back to the people that protect us and have helped to keep us safe”.

The Council is hoping that the group will provide a focus for those affected by PTSD, by providing regular and meaningful work that will help with self-esteem, confidence and future job prospects.

Councillor Peter Craske, Cabinet Member for Places said: “Studies have shown that working in a natural environment such as a woodland or garden can really help people living with PTSD. We’re hoping that by setting up Woodland Warriors, it will give a needed space for those affected to come together and support each other, while enjoying being outdoors in one of our Green Flag parks.”

Council staff based at Lesnes Abbey will provide all volunteers with training and the necessary equipment. Volunteers should dress appropriately for the work and weather and bring their own lunch. Refreshments will be provided.

Anyone interested in taking part should contact Fay Smith by calling 07989135725 or emailing fay.smith@bexley.gov.uk