Windermere, Friday 12 Jan Veterans and young people benefitting from a new initiative that is keeping one of Europe’s largest outdoor activity centres in tip top condition.

The Veterans Community Working Party (VCWP) has been awarded £19,440 from the National Lottery Community Fund to support and develop additional employability, self-care and creative skills in Veterans. It does this by running outdoor based activities for Veterans that include weekend work parties at the YMCA Lakeside. The work parties help the charity look after its 70 year old residential centre on a 100 acre site on the western shore of Windermere. Around 10,000 children and young people a year visit and benefit from a ‘world-class’ experience that makes the most of the area’s outstanding natural resources.


As VCWP project manager Nicole Blair explained:


“Over three days, once a month a group of Veterans stay at the YMCA Lakeside and use their skills and time to rejuvenate outdoor classrooms, activity areas and buildings. At our launch event, with special guest Samantha Scott, the High Sheriff of Cumbria, it was painting and decorating the lodges where seasonal staff stay. Previous work parties have helped to clear damage caused by storms and heavy snowfall.


“In exchange, YCMA Lakeside provides accommodation and some time and space in which Veterans can gather to peer mentor, learn new skills, take time out and focus on their own wellbeing. VCWP  provide supervision, training, project management, and governance structures to ensure projects run well.”



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