Our Creative Arts Programme demonstrated the amazing potential for therapeutic yet educational activities to enhance the lives of VSMP.
Programme Content

The Creative Arts Programme, run in 2021 and 2022, reflected our commitment to developing stimulating, mindful and creative workshops that include art, writing and poetry. These activities encouraged veterans to explore their emotions and to engage in archaeology in a very different yet meaningful way.

The Arts Programme showed that by taking part in creative activities like writing, painting and model making, VSMP wellbeing could be successfully nurtured and maintained. Through mindful activity, working alongside a new group of people, learning new skills and making connections, participants really stood to benefit from this programme.

As a totally blind individual, I was intrigued about the idea of participating in the Waterloo Uncovered Arts Programme – it seemed a bit impossible. However, when I thought about the wider aspects of art, it became obvious that there were areas with which I could get fully involved, and it has been fantastic! - Creative Arts Programme Participant

This programme presented an opportunity to re-engage with the military community and to explore the historical context of the Battle of Waterloo in ways which resonated with their own military experience. Participants were encouraged to achieve a different, positive perspective on their personal experiences, whilst developing a new interest, skill or hobby with real long-term potential to support their mental wellbeing.

As with our other programmes, our professional and committed wellbeing & support team were on hand to participants for any assistance required.

Programme Structure

This programme was a collaboration between Wellbeing and Support specialists, artists, writers and creatives. With improved participant wellbeing as the primary focus, it also provided a clear educational and goal setting structure to help veterans get the most from their experience with us.

Interviews took place in March, and following successful completion of the application & selection phases, nine veterans were offered a place to take part. Participants took part in monthly ‘hangouts’ online with arts specialists, who introduced them to different artistic disciplines and creative interpretations of the Battle of Waterloo. This was followed by a period of six-weeks of virtual content  which offered participants the chance to focus on a single creative outlet in a safe and supported environment, with follow-up sessions and a reunion style showcase at the National Army Museum to finish the programme.

Stage one - interview and selection. Stage two - onboarding. Stage three - main programme content. Stage four - Goal evaluation and continued support. Stage 5 - reunion. These five stages take place over a 12 month support period.
As well as creating artworks, veteran participants have written a series of evocative poems as part of the Arts Programme, largely themed around conflict, Waterloo, and their own military experience. Check out poetry composed by our 2021 veterans here:

Arts programme participant Jamie performing his poem "What About Me?" at our November 2021 fundraiser, featuring background music from Sounds of War.
Sponsors, Supporters and Partners

Annington Homes
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust
COBSEO The Confederation of Service Charities
University College Roosevelt
University of Glasgow
Utrecht University
Summer School Utrecht
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Registered with Fundraising Regulator
Registered with Fundraising Regulator
Registered with Fundraising Regulator