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Cornwall: where being Active is a Plus

Rehab continues its research with a visit to Active Plus in Truro.   

Active Plus is a community interest company that uses the skills, experience and expertise of injured and retired military veterans to deliver unique programmes to veterans and others in the community in Cornwall.  

On 26 October 2021, Senior Occupational Therapist Sarah Barker, and Specialist Physiotherapist colleague Maisy Provan, visited the health and innovation centre in Truro.  This is home to their HQ/hub.  There they met with two members of staff, both of whom are RAF veterans.   

The Rehab team continues its review into services for veterans, with a view to making recommendations on improving care for this group and for overall patient care. Their aim is to complete a research and review phase by Spring 2022, then pilot a model across England. 

Sarah said: “Their ethos is about people helping themselves through helping others. The programmes they run build confidence, improve motivation, generate a sense of belonging and self-worth, and help people unlock and fulfil their potential.” 

“We introduced our project and discussed the benefits of their model and courses for both civilians and veterans. The benefits – from a health perspective as well as from a well-being point of view – were considered, along with how they link in with the armed forces social prescribers in Cornwall to support recovery. 

“The great thing about Active Plus is that veterans often come back and volunteer on the course, ie they are giving back, hence the organisation describing themselves as a ‘lily pad’ to start the process of interlinking back into their local communities.” 

The second day of the visit saw Rehab attend one of the confidence and motivation courses in Newquay.    

Maisy said: “All of the participants had to have a health condition to attend. Today was the final session (after six weeks) and it was great to see the people presenting on their progress during this time.” 

“The veterans leading the course inspired confidence, and prompted different ways of thinking to tackle problems and challenges.” 

In a positive summing up, she said: “It was evident that the course enabled people to start the process of moving on with their lives regardless of their condition, making steps forward even if just small ones. As Active Plus itself says: veterans are at the heart of what we do and the key to our success.” 

The VCHA is committed to improving Armed Forces and Veteran care whilst raising standards for all. 99 NHS providers in England are now Veteran Aware accredited, and the Veteran Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) aims to have all Trusts in England accredited by November 2022 at the latest. Find out more about our work and what Rehab has been doing by clicking here

28 October 2021

ENDS