Innovative Woody's Lodge welcomes forces community

January 30, 2019

A Veteran's charity in Colwyn Bay is opening it's doors for a special Social Day today (Thursday 31st January).

From 10am until 3pm there's the invitation for Veterans, Reservists, Emergency Service Personnel and their families to come and visit Woody's Lodge, an innovative social hub which guides veterans to the help and support they need to re-engage with their families and communities.

The centre recently opened in Eirias Park and has prominently featured on TV for its ground breaking work.

In 2012, Royal Marine and member of the Elite Special Boat Service, Paul “Woody” Woodland lost his life in a training exercise, before he was due to return for a second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Woody was born, bred and schooled in Penarth, South Wales, and had always wanted to be a Royal Marine. Once he completed his Armed Forces career, his dream had been to build a log cabin where he would be able to live with his family, peacefully and in safety.

The vision for Woody's Lodge is to create an inviting meeting space for those who have served within the Armed Forces and Emergency Services, where they can receive expert support & advice as well as the chance to connect with new and old friends and family.

Woody’s dream of owning a log cabin after his service became the inspiration for Woody’s Lodge which became a reality after two years of planning, with the support of the Royal Navy in Wales and Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations.

After 3 months of refurbishment, the first Woody’s Lodge opened. It was set within quiet green spaces where it had calming views of the Bristol Channel and offered a safe, peaceful and familiar surrounding for veterans and their families.

Woody’s Lodge is a communications and social hub for veterans. In their first six months, they received well over 1,200 visits from veterans of all ages from the Vale and Cardiff areas. Woody’s Lodge also acts as a base from which 20 charitable and statutory agencies work including: The Royal British Legion, NHS, Dept. of Works & Pensions, Recovery Cymru, NEXUS, Barnardos and SSAFA.

In the summer of 2018, they moved into new premises set within the Amelia Trust Farm, which is just off of Five Mile Lane on the edge of Barry and in order to reach those who’ve served in the Armed Forces and Emergency Services more conveniently, they opened a Woody’s Lodge in Eirias Park.

With partners Age Cymru and Age Alliance Wales, Woody's Lodge has been successful in obtaining Armed Forces Covenant Funding in support of the work done with veterans of 60 years and over, who are dealing with the challenges they face, in particular those linked with physical and mental health, social welfare, finances and housing.