Sir George Young, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Test Valley and Cllr Sandra Hawke visited the Headquarters of Veterans in Action at Redenham Farm, to get a further insight in to the valuable work done by this charity, and to see how they might help with the challenges that lie ahead.
"Billy Macleod is an inspirational figure, who has identified a gap in the support for those who have left the service suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and he has put together a series of programmes to help them rebuild their lives".
Together with some former colleagues from the Royal Engineers, he set up Veterans International Aid and this began with a walk in 2010 from John O'Groats to Lands End. VIA have now completed seven long distance walks, covering a distance of 6,400 miles with many veterans from all different Corps and regiments taking part. They were registered with the Charity Commission in March 2011, and then based themselves in farm buildings at Redenham Park. A number of courses are available at Redenham, including photography, music, kayaking and keeping fit.
Their next project is cycle ride beginning in Andover at 10 o'clock this Thursday (August 21st), entitled 'First to the Last'. This aims to cycle 1 mile for every British and Commonwealth casualty of the First World War, starting on the centenary of the first casualty, who lost his life on August 21st. The challenge will end on the centenary of the last British and Commonwealth soldier who lost his life on November 11th 1918. VIA will travel the country over this period, carrying out static cycling challenges in as many locations as possible, with the aim of reaching their financial target.