Climbing Out courses give military veterans the tools they need to manage their own mental wellbeing … and help them learn how to be happy again. Team Forces is proud to be helping this inspirational organisation deliver life changing courses to our military personnel and Veterans.

Climbing Out recently held a Level 2 course in Scotland, the five day programme was a mixed course attended by two personnel from the armed forces (using grant money from Team Forces to fund their places). The aim of the Level 2 programmes is that participants will take the next step in their recovery journey with an increased level of challenge, responsibility and ownership. They spent 7 days based out of a hostel in Glencoe, taking on some of Scotland’s most iconic mountains. Participants also had to cook for the group, and each had to do an individual presentation talking about something that had helped them improve their mental health. Weather conditions weren’t ideal, with heavy rain forecast throughout the week, but this only added to the level of challenge.

Kelda Wood MBE, Founder of Climbing Out commented:  ‘Words can never describe the development we get to see on a programme like this, but I hope the reflections included below, will give you some idea of the impact the programme has had. Thank you from everyone at Climbing Out, we so appreciate your continued support.’

I struggled with my demons as I had no safe space to be myself, I experienced difficulties at home along with difficulties at work, and the effect of this was that I lost all desire to do anything for myself. I was in the dark, feeling all alone and with no obvious way out. Climbing Out genuinely threw me a rope and helped me out of the darkness. You have all shown me that I am the person I remember and that despite my demons I can still do those things that I enjoy and that make me, me.

I found motivation to get out more following my level 1 programme last year and despite it still being a work in progress, if I’m honest I did go to Scotland wondering what I would come away with, that I had not already come away with from my level 1 programme. Well, I was in for a surprise!

The level 2 programme was amazing, in so many different ways. The biggest way was that we were with other people who had all completed a level 1 programme, so who all knew what the Climbing Out ethos was all about and the difference that made was huge. We were all on the same page from day 1 and despite our different back stories we have formed into a really tight group of friends that are really supportive of each other and I know I can reach out to them in an instant if I need to. While I was away I realised that I had missed the camaraderie that I had when I was in the Army. I hadn’t realised that this was such a big thing for me before, but soon realised that Climbing Out provides me with the same sense of belonging and of being part of something wonderful. It genuinely makes me proud to be a part of the Climbing Out family.

  • The things I will take away from my level 2 programme are:
  • To be more open to positive experiences with others
  • To say yes more, but equally to say no when I need to
  • “Just do it” (don’t procrastinate about doing things)
  • “The more you go out, the luckier you get”
  • To spend more time in ‘real’ reflection
  • and to remember that I am liked, that I have come so far since last year and to keep pushing forward.

Words alone cannot express how much I think of Climbing Out and my fellow Climbing Outer’s. Climbing Out has such a positive impact on peoples lives, you are genuinely saving people!

Feedback from Rich

I am an army veteran of 23yrs. Since leaving the army I have been an ambulance practitioner & I have recently completed a level 2 course with climbing out in Scotland. I was very sceptical as to how Climbing Out could help me with having been in such a very dark place in my life. By the end of the week, it had opened my eyes to the fact there are like minded people out there fighting the same battles in the mind as I was. Sharing this experience with them helped dramatically in aiding my mental health and hopefully aiding others with theirs as we helped each other through the week. What I am taking away from the course is that it is fine to let my emotions out as the more your store them up and suppress them, the more they will just take over and ruin my life. When sat by myself I can be quite negative towards myself and dwell on the past and not the future. This is something I need to work on changing for myself to aid moving forward with my life.

Climbing out has helped change my life and mindset by aiding me to manage small changes in my life and thinking that one day will they become a big change. THANK YOU Kelda Wood and the Climbing Out Team.

Feedback from Martyn

Darkness and light – a poem of survival by Rich

I’d fallen hard, into the great dark abyss,
Something so wrong… I knew was amiss.
Experience of trauma over the longest of time,
No longer feeling happy, no longer feel fine.
Anxiety, depression, nightmares and stress,
The good times had gone, they happened much less.
My motivation had died. No desire. No drive.
Nothing to live for. No need to survive.

I had become lost, alone in the dark,
Knowing I needed something, some help, just a spark.
Something to trigger my urge to get out,
but everywhere I turned I felt I must shout,
for help and support that was so hard to find,
It was driving me crazy and out of my mind.
All of that changed when I met Climbing Out,
They changed my outlook and removed all the doubt.

A week in the Lakes and my life changed for good,
The Climbing Out ethos now runs through my blood.
Support and advice, new goals and direction,
Friendship and confidence, the outdoors and reflection.
It was like an epiphany moment where everything made sense!
The simplest of things that made me less tense.
To start to think of myself, what my life had become,
Positive changes, now time to have fun.

Climbing Out is the brightest of spotlights, all shining for me,
Guiding me forward, to where I must be.
To say they save lives is the truest of words,
For lots of similar testimonies I have recently heard.
I cannot express in words how I now feel,
About the positive changes, they are so very real,
And all thanks to this charity. They are angels to me!

About Climbing Out

Climbing Out offers outdoor activity programmes aimed at rebuilding confidence, self-esteem and motivation in people who have been through a life changing injury, illness or trauma.

There are three layers to their programmes. They combine outdoor activities with mental resilience coaching whilst building long term friendships and support. This gives participants the tools to manage themselves, helping them to deal with not just what’s happened in the past or what they’re going through right now, but also any challenges they may face in the future. Climbing Out is passionate about developing people to have the tools so they can manage their own mental wellbeing, take responsibility for their lives moving forwards and fulfil their potential.

Climbing Out courses will give military veterans the tools they need to manage their own mental wellbeing … and help them learn how to be happy again.

Kelda Wood MBE, Founder of Climbing Out said, “Thank you so much for choosing to support Climbing Out. Every single penny will go to changing people’s lives – providing them with the tools to manage their mental wellbeing and move their lives forward. The grant from Team Forces will help us offer invaluable support to many members of the Armed Forces. We are really grateful for the support.”

Huge thank you to our Team Forces sponsors for contributing to the Good Causes Fund.

Without their generous support, life-changing courses like this would not happen.