SERVICE personnel and veterans are learning about land-based post-military careers thanks to courses run by a specialist charity.
Highground, which was established in 2013 by Anna Baker Cresswell, provides training programmes and work experience placements on farms or other outdoor areas.
The sessions include five-day “rural weeks”, which bring together ex-soldiers who are working in land-based careers as a result of HighGround’s courses, to share their experiences with residents through a combination of classroom presentations and practical activities.
Anna explained: “There are so many people, both currently serving or who have recently completed their service, who find it hard to see their next chapter after leaving the Armed Forces.
“This can make them feel lost or overwhelmed, especially if they’ve sustained a serious injury in the line of duty. Our aim at HighGround is to show those who have served their country that there is support after leaving.”
Anna began providing horticultural therapy to personnel wounded in the line of duty in 2007 and, after a successful three-year pilot scheme at Headley Court in Surrey, her programme is now delivered at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Stanford Hall in Leicestershire.
Highground held a parliamentary reception in March to encourage members of the house to show their support for its work, and 2019 will see the charity running eight ‘rural weeks’ at Bicton College in Devon.
After a recent partnership with The Royal Foundation, Highground will also be rolling out its courses to other agricultural colleges in the UK.