Waterloo Uncovered has been taking VSMP to excavate on the Waterloo Battlefield since 2015.
Programme Content

This programme offers a practical and immersive experience with a two week trip to Belgium for hands-on excavation with a team of world renowned archaeologists. It will also encourage veterans to use mindful techniques and to engage in archaeology with a powerful emphasis on wellbeing.

In addition to giving participants the chance to apply archaeological skills and techniques in practice on the site of one of the most famous land battles in history, this year-round programme also focuses on the theory and history of the battle which affected almost every regiment in the British Army. Participants will also have the opportunity to enjoy ‘in person’ museum trips, with visits to the National Army Museum and the British Museum. Taking place in Belgium, international collaboration is prominent, VSMP will mix with individuals of different nationalities and backgrounds.

The real life, immersive nature of this programme gives participants a number of important benefits and life skills, including team building, time keeping, travel and adjusting to new environments.

Some veterans have had horrific accidents and horrific things happen to them. This project is doing them a huge amount of good, you can see it day on day, week on week. Some of these guys are coming out of their shells in ways they probably haven’t done in a great many years - Excavation Programme

As with all our programmes, the Excavation Programme places a strong emphasis on improving mental wellbeing and offers the space for Veterans to engage with a new group of people, archaeologists, students & international VSMP. Our professional and experienced Wellbeing & Support team will be available to provide help and assistance to our participants whenever they may need it.

Furthermore, this programme gives participants the chance to gain recognised academic credits from the University of Utrecht.

Programme Structure

The Excavation Programme is a collaboration between Wellbeing and Support specialists, heritage institutions & archaeologists. It offers a clear educational and goal setting structure that gives participants the best chance of maximising their opportunity with us, with the main objective of improving their wellbeing.

This programme will be delivered with two museum trips in May and June, followed by a two-week trip to Belgium in July. This will offer veterans & serving personnel the chance to develop lasting relationships, learn something new and discover a whole new world of archaeology & mindfulness. Virtual ‘Hangouts’ will take place throughout the year with exciting archaeological content and different themes to explore. There will be follow up sessions and a reunion 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.
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