• Picture of the Week

    Veterans get a helping hand from local volunteer cadet group
  • Referrals

    The Referral Pathway for Veterans to Gardening Leave

    If you have served with H.M Forces and you would like to come to Gardening Leave, here is what you should do:-

    Either download our referral form here Referral-Form 001-Apr-2012 fill it out then send it back to admin@gardeningleave.org or alternatively phone our Head Office on 0141 814 4737.

    One of our CPN Assessors will arrange a private, one-to-one appointment with you which will let you know more about Gardening Leave and how it may help you.

    If you are in immediate need of support, the following free services are available for veterans:

    Combat Stress 24 hour Helpline: 0800 138 1619 or text – 07537 404 719 or email: combat.stress@rethink.org

    Veterans Aid Helpline: 0800 012 68 67 or 0207 8282468

    Veterans UK helpline: 0808 1914218 or email: veterans-uk@mod.uk

    The Royal British Legion helpline: 0808 802 8080

    SSAFA helpline: 0845 241 7141 or 0800 731 4880

    The Big White Wall: www.bigwhitewall.com

    NHS Choice England: 111, NHS Scotland: 24 call – 111, NHS Wales: 0845 46 47

    The Samaritans: 116 123 or email: jo@samaritans.org



    What is it?

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is sometimes described as ‘a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.’

    It is an anxiety disorder.

    Who can get it?

    They are varying of PTSD – Civilian PTSD is normally the result of a single traumatic incident such as a car crash or mugging. In the military however, repeated exposure to events during military service can often result in deep seated reactions which due to the tempo at which military personell operate, are seldumm adressed at the time.

    Anyone who has been in the Services – it doesn’t matter how long you served for, where or whether you were ‘in theatre’ – you can be 19 or 90; PTSD can happen to anyone.

    What are the signs?

    Flashbacks, nightmares, increased levels of anxiety, hyper arousal (being over sensitive to life in general), insomnia, inability to concentrate, mood swings, intensive thoughts, depression, possible psychosis, substance misuse – drinking more heavily than usual.

    What can be done to help?

    There are lots of things which can be done to improve the lives of Service personnel and veterans who suffer from combat stress reactions.

    The first step is to get the correct diagnosis so that the treatment you receive is relevant to the symptoms you are experiencing.

    Combat Stress, the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society (www.combatstress.org) is the only specialist charity of its kind in the UK and their Welfare Officer can come and visit you at home and point you in the direction of specialist services and help explain more about what can be done to help you and your family.

    Apart from psychotherapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR), anger management, relaxation techniques and sleep hygiene can all help. Non clinical interventions such as Gardening Leave and fishing which help to get veterans together again, also play a big part in helping to reduce the social isolation and exclusion which affect many veterans.

    Table of Symptoms

    Physical Signs Mental Signs Behavioural Signs
    1. Indigestion
    2. Waking up tired
    3. Excessive perspiration
    4. Racing heartbeat
    5. Constipation/diarrhoea
    6. Persistent headaches
    7. Muscular cramps
    8. Dry mouth/problems with swallowing
    1. Feelings of inadequacy/low self worth
    2. Feeling isolated/misunderstood
    3. Unreasonable fears
    4. Fear of open/closed spaces
    5. Fear of being alone
    6. Lack of ability to unwind
    7. Sudden panic attacks
    8. Disturbing dreams
    9. Forgetfulness/confusion
    1. Insomnia
    2. Avoiding people
    3. Erratic eating habits
    4. Irritability
    5. Loss of sense of humour
    6. Outbreaks of irrational anger
    7. Tearfulness
    8. Difficulty in decision-making
    9. Alcohol abuse
    10. Reckless driving
    11. Irresponsible behaviour
    12. Lack of interest in appearance/hygiene
    13. Increased number of minor accidents
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      Volunteering: Fairy godparents of the world unite – you have nothing to lose but boredom


    We're very proud of our new homemade compost bins at our Ayr horticultural therapy garden pic.twitter.com/bpSUQ1ktZb

    About 5 days ago

    RT @ISSLandscaping Please support @gardening_leave helping our country's veterans on their journey back to good mental health twitter.com/philjonesISS/s…

    About 5 days ago

    Looking forward to seeing veterans from our @RHChelsea #gardening therapy project on @ITV #Pogdogs with @BDCH tonight at 8.30pm. Tune in!

    About 5 days ago

    RT @philjonesISS If you support our armed forces veterans then please support @gardening_leave horticultural therapy in walled gardens #givesomethingback

    About 6 days ago

    RT @starwards Last year's Guardian and Observer charity appeal: mental health with @gardening_leave & @MindCharity gu.com/p/4eeyk/stw

    About 6 days ago

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