We delivered our first ‘virtual’ programme in 2020 in response to Covid-19 so we could continue to support VSMP at a time when many of them would have felt the profound effects of loneliness and isolation.

Programme Content

As a result of the programme’s success and its hugely positive impact throughout the pandemic, Waterloo Uncovered ran the virtual programme in 2020, 2021 and 2022. To do so, we collaborated with partner organisations and other heritage institutions, such as the British Museum and the National Army Museum to ensure the delivery of highly engaging and educational content.

The virtual programme encouraged veterans to use mindful techniques and to engage in archaeology – with a focus on the Battle of Waterloo – in a new and meaningful way with a powerful emphasis on wellbeing.

The content of this programme focused on many aspects of Waterloo – the battle itself, the history surrounding it, and of course its archaeology. Participants had the opportunity to learn fundamental archaeological skills and techniques in addition to virtual museum trips, including a behind the scenes preview of the most prestigious collections at the British Museum with its top curators.

The Waterloo Uncovered virtual programme has given me the skills to try new things. It has shown me that archaeology can be enjoyed when blind, it has identified areas I would like to explore. The ethos of this charity gives us our dignity. - Virtual Programme Participant

The programme focused on the holistic side of archaeology – equipping participants with an understanding of mindfulness techniques – as well as offering opportunities for creative outlets. The course provided an excellent space for veterans to engage with a new group of people.

Our professional and experienced wellbeing & support team were alongside our participants every step of the way for the programme’s year-round duration.

Programme Structure

The Virtual Programme was a collaboration between Wellbeing and Support specialists, heritage institutions & archaeologists. It offered a clear educational and goal setting structure that gave the best possible experience for the participants, with the overarching aim of improving their wellbeing.

Following successful completion of the application & selection phases, VSMP were offered a place. This programme was delivered with an initial six weeks of intensive online activities followed by monthly virtual ‘Hangouts’ with engaging tasks that offered participants the chance to develop lasting relationships, learn something new and discover a whole new world of archaeology & mindfulness. This was followed up with 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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