Southern Co-op helps veterans’ charity buy much-needed camping equipment

‘It has made a huge difference and helped us to help others who need our support’

Southern Co-op’s Love Your Neighbourhood scheme  an initiative to support local communities has marked the donation of £500 to a veterans charity with a visit from co-op colleagues to see the charity’s work first hand. 

Lucy Thomason, Sally Chudley and Natalie Haggard from the Eastney and Southsea branches of Co-op Funeralcare visited Forgotten Veterans UK’s monthly group camp at their Basha Retreat at Fort Cumberland in Portsmouth.

The camping retreat and community hub was set up to support veterans with their mental health. It’s a place for veterans to spend time to reflect on any issues that they may have and mix with other veterans who may have similar issues. And the Basha Retreat also offers them the chance to learn new skills.

The donation from Southern Co-op enabled Forgotten Veterans to buy a camp cot, three 2-man tents and four sleeping bags.

The charity’s CEO, Gary Weaving, gave the Co-op Funeralcare colleagues a tour of the facilities and they then had an opportunity to talk with some of the veterans attending one of the monthly group camps. 

Gary said: “We regularly support people who are in crisis and the veterans who come to us experience PTSD, depression, stress and anxiety. So we’re really grateful for the donation from Southern Co-op. It has made a huge difference and helped us to help others who need our support.”