How We Support Veterans

Waterloo Uncovered (WU) has been delivering archaeological excavations on the site of the Battle of Waterloo for Veteran and Serving Military Personnel (VSMP) since 2015. The wellbeing of participants has been a key factor of each excavation, and WU’s other programmes.

Our Veteran & Serving Military Personnel (VSMP) Programmes have been developed since 2015, run by an experienced Wellbeing & Support team and lasting the duration of twelve months.

WU’s VSMP Excavation Programme has seen incredibly positive results, as did our Virtual Programme (run in the face of Covid-19). In 2021, WU added two new programmes to its repertoire, Creative Arts & Finds. These run in a similar format to our VSMP Excavation Programme and we expect to see similar positive results. We also run the Battlefields Uncovered course, in collaboration with Utrecht University.

The VSMP Programmes all focus on supporting participants in five key areas:

  • Recovery (mental & physical) – return to a desirable state of health, mind, or strength
  • Health & Wellbeing – being comfortable, healthy, or happy
  • Transition into Civilian Life – the passage from military to civilian life
  • Education – learning new things (formally and informally)
  • Employment (or equivalent) – employment or an equivalent outcome such as volunteer work (real prospects and skills as well as valuable new insights)

Participation is open to those who are already being supported by or are associated with a charity and/or organisation (including the NHS). Applications are by referral, meaning the organisation you are associated with should contact Waterloo Uncovered to request an application form for you. A full list of referral organisations can be found here. Recognised carers can accompany individuals if required. Those with outstanding court cases will not be considered. Participation is likely to be a “once in a lifetime” opportunity.

We aim to create as diverse and balanced a team as possible, with a range in age, gender, military experience, and support aims. They will work at Waterloo alongside a small number of veterans from other nations, including The Netherlands and Germany, via our partner organisations in the project. Applicants do not have to be injured to apply, but all applicants should consider what benefits they are hoping to gain from taking part.

Places on the programmes are limited. It will therefore not be possible for WU to take all applications onto the programme, but great care will be taken with those not selected to continue the process, to ensure the application process is a positive one. For those looking to enter or experience the worlds of archaeology, arts, historical research and heritage, advice will be given on other projects that are available, and alternative points of entry.

It should be noted that limited places are available to wounded, injured and sick serving personal as well as veterans, especially those who are facing the prospect of becoming a veteran, but also those who are looking make a recovery a return to work.

Waterloo Uncovered does not provide any definitive rehabilitation or clinical outcomes in isolation. The Waterloo Uncovered experience works with a variety of care agencies, and can deliver, for example, a part of a mutually agreed facet of a personalised rehabilitation programme or a Graded Return to Work Programme (GROW).

The WU Support Programmes are a 12-month process, and consists of five phases. They are as follows: