Over the last two years, a team of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) service personnel and veterans have been building an Iron Age Roundhouse to help with their mental and physical wellbeing.
The project has been underway at Help for Heroes Recovery Centre Tedworth House in Tidworth, Wiltshire who have been in partnerships with the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.
The project has helped 49 WIS who have been involved with the build since it began in the summer of 2015.
The build of the project has seen many famous faces visit, including Prince Harry who visited the Roundhouse in January.
To mark the end of the build, the team decided to throw an Iron-Age themed party, where some even managed to stay in fancy dress despite the heat! They also enjoyed a hog roast, and then went to Stonehenge to watch the sunrise to mark Summer Solstice.
One of the men taking part in the project is Roy Taylor. Roy served with the Royal Navy in the Falklands and was eventually diagnosed with PTSD in 2010. Roy says that being involved on the Roundhouse project has helped him to sleep better, keeps him active and is great for camaraderie, he said: “Over the last 18 months, we’ve been working on an amazing project. It’s been great. If someone told me two years ago that I’d have built an Iron Age Roundhouse I wouldn’t have believed them.”
The idea was originally to build a yurt, but it was decided that an Iron Age Roundhouse would be more substantial and also work as a long-term recovery programme.
The team have completed a huge project, including constructing wattle wall states, installing rafters in the roof, thatching with help from Allan Wright Master Thatcher, daubing the walls, carving timber posts and installing a chalk floor.
Alan Day, one of the beneficiaries that worked on the project is a veteran that lives with mental health challenges added: “For my wellbeing it’s been absolutely fantastic. The Roundhouse has given me an anchor – every month I know I’ll be visiting with my peers, I’ll be with people who mentor me. It’s been an absolutely brilliant way of moving forward.”
Giles Woodhouse, Head of Recovery South at Help for Heroes said “This project has provided skills, boosted self-esteem and a sense of camaraderie, and there have been clear physical and functional benefits for our wounded, injured and sick Heroes that have worked in the mindful woodland setting. The team that have worked on this should be very proud. It will be used for years to come.”
The Iron Age Roundhouse will now be used as a woodworking hut, where others will be able to learn new and develop existing skills and the team that have worked on the project will continue to meet here every month.
If you would like to help support our wounded heroes please visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk