Coming Home aims to reconnect veterans and families with their local communities. This project is demonstrating how the arts can create a community, deepen understanding and reduce loneliness. The unique strength of this project is that it is rooted in the community. Together we can come home.
“This is the first time since leaving the military that I’ve had this feeling.
I feel like I’m part of something again!”
We believe the arts can play a role in helping people transform painful experiences into more hopeful futures.
The Coming Home Choir, led by the superb Pauline Down, meets every Friday at 11am at Chapter, Cardiff and is open to veterans, family members and members of the local community who would like to sing and support. No previous experience of singing required.
“I feel privileged to have worked alongside these veterans. I feel a love and respect for them and their courage helped stiffen my own backbone. Together we can really come home”
The safety and wellbeing of the people we work with is paramount. The work we do is not therapy and shouldn’t be seen as an alternative to it, however, reflecting on one’s experiences creatively can bring up strong emotions. The project is led by Alison O’Connor who is a trained counsellor and all of the creative team receive clinical supervison. We work closely with NHS Veterans Wales who offer guidance and support, and to whom we defer on clinical issues.
“I feel like I have a new family now. Before I joined this project I literally didn’t leave the house. I’d spend all day in bed or on the Xbox – I can’t believe the change in me” Afghanistan Veteran
We also have an excellent relationship with the Welsh Veterans Partnership who offer peer support to veterans and families and signposting to further information.
“When I used to see the Help the Heroes campaigns, I never really got it. Now, after spending these weeks working with these veterans, I feel I truly understand what they’ve been through and what they’ve done for us.” Community Member
“I think this should be on the National Health, it should be on prescription! Forget the drugs, do 6 weeks with Re-Live and you’ll feel brilliant. And no side effects!” Wife of veteran
Should any veteran or family member require emotional support, the Combat Stress Helpline is a free service open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year:
Free call 0800 138 1619
text 07537 404 719
“This has saved me because it’s given me something to look forward to, it’s given me a purpose again. It helps me control my anxiety too. This is the one place I can come where I know I won’t be judged.” Veteran