Move Forward With a Renewed Purpose

Posted on March 23, 2011 by

Helping former service heroes “move forward with a renewed purpose”

Former servicemen and women are being offered a new way of reintegrating into civilian life with a Devon-based residential course which combines personal development training with social farming.

“Moving forward with a renewed purpose” has been developed to help military personnel forge a new and successful life on “Civvy Street” by giving them time-out in a rural environment to develop a new mindset and new skills.
Hush Farms, a social farm based at Branscombe in East Devon, and ProAction Development C.I.C. (Community Interest Company – a not-for-profit social enterprise) of Somerset have devised the six day residential course in response to the challenge many former service personnel are experiencing in making the transition to civilian life – some even up to 20 years after leaving. With over 15,000 leaving annually the programme aims to support current resettlement services in transitioning former service personnel into civilian life and employment.
Bernard Genge from ProAction Development served as a medic in the Royal Navy. He explained that the transition from service to civilian life can be extremely difficult;

“You go from a life where your purpose was known and you were highly respected, to one of uncertainty with a temporary lack of direction. This has the effect of lowering self-confidence and self-esteem, and the longer the gap between leaving the services and getting a civilian job, the harder it becomes.”

The classroom activities, which are centred around ProAction Development’s unique 10 Actions® to Transform Your Life programme and published book, are complimented by hands-on practical farming experience with husband and wife team Penny and Jon Bond. Penny and Jon founded Hush Farms after discovering, through their own experiences, a “woefully inadequate support structure” for people affected by major life changes and traumatic experiences.
Penny explained; “Our social farm is all about building self-belief, developing new skills and having a good time on the farm. The countryside, animals, nature and good honest outdoor hard-work can have a really therapeutic effect and simply by being away from everyday pressures means that our former service people can have the time and space they need to reflect and share experiences with others in a similar situation. Servicemen and women who have already been on our course have been amazed at what they are capable of doing. We’re still in touch with many of them who say that their experience with Hush Farms and ProAction Development really made a difference.”
 As well as former service personnel, Hush Farms has also helped full-time carers and people seeking respite and a new direction in life. The Moving forward course is also being offered to the families of service personnel who are facing difficulties in readjusting to their relative leaving the service.    

A launch event held recently in Branscombe gave representatives from Help for Heroes, the Royal Marine Commando Training Centre at Lympstone, the Royal British Legion, Veterens Welfare, Combat Stress, Alabare Christian Care Homes and Sport England, among many others, a taster of the “Moving forward with renewed purpose” course. Guests participated in activities including quad biking, chain-sawing, caring for lambs and natural horsemanship.

For further information: where you can watch a short film of a Hush Farms course and hear some first-hand experiences. Tel: Penny Bond:  07791 344216 for more details on a corporate support package for helping former service personnel make a successful transition to civilian life.

Tel:  Bernard Genge – 01460 61459 or Amanda Mooney – 01460 67480