Wide-range of support for veterans at new Black Country wellbeing centre

A military charity has issued a reminder to veterans that they are here to help with a range of services.

Charity Stepway has opened a new wellbeing centre in Oldbury
Charity Stepway has opened a new wellbeing centre in Oldbury

Stepway, which was established in November 2019, recently opened a wellbeing centre in Oldbury on Merton Close in Partnership with the Salvation Army to support local veterans.

The charity has also launched a community garden, which is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10am to 2pm and places a focus on mental wellbeing and bringing the whole community together.

Many locals in and around the area have donated bird tables, plants and raised beds to help support the growth of the garden.

Dawn Turner, founder of the charity and mother of two serving soldiers said: "We are looking for donations of seedlings and tomato plants so we get ready to plant for spring and small gardening tools are always welcomed.

"Volunteers to help in the garden would be a blessing to help bring the whole community together and to create something special."

One of the services Stepway provides is the Veterans' Hub, which is open Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 3pm and is there to support the veteran community with advice and guidance.

In addition to this, the charity has two therapy rooms which are utilised by Op-Courage (NHS) and other partner charities for free.

The centre also provides a fully funded seven-step civilian skills program which is based on mental health awareness, the survival kit for Civvy St, which can lead to many education and employment opportunities.

A drop-in centre is also open every Wednesday from 10am to 2pm which provides a place for veterans to catch up with new and old friends.

The armed forces champions from the Department of Work and Pensions are present every Wednesday to support any issues veterans may have with gaining employment or claiming benefits.

Dawn added: "We have a great team of volunteers who have dedicated their time in making this Wellbeing Centre a safe and friendly environment for Veterans and the wider community to access.

"Moreover, we are combatting adjustment disorder by injecting a sense of Belonging and Purpose back into the lives of many Veterans who had lost both in Civilian life.

"We started Stepway to improve mental health, and combat adjustment disorder and we have ended up saving lives."

Steven Charlton from the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, paid a visit to the Stepway team and was so impressed with all the groundwork that has taken place, he will be nominating the team for the Nye Bevan people’s award for work in the community.

Stepway is looking for sponsorship from local businesses and donations of materials, volunteers to join their team, so they can continue supporting all veterans in civilian life, no matter their background or circumstance.

For more information on both services and volunteering opportunities people can visit stepway.org or call 0121 7922 723.

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