Sunday 10 October was World Mental Health Day. To mark this important date, we're taking a trip to Aldershot Military Museum with Community Manager Neil Couzens, as he discusses some of the projects taking place at the museum that put improving mental health and wellbeing at the forefront.
Here at Aldershot Military Museum, we’re focusing on several important projects strongly related to improving mental health and wellbeing.
Our collection of military vehicles needs some additional conservation work to ensure it is preserved for the enjoyment of future visitors.
Last summer, we started recruiting for volunteers to participate in a project to do this. The project was funded by Forces Connect South East, and with the funding, the museum will be able to purchase key resources such as paint, PPE for participants, and conservation tools, as well as offer training, provided by the Hampshire Cultural Trust collections team, to develop a core group of volunteers, who will be able to maintain the vehicles and pass on their knowledge to others.
This project was put on hold due to national lockdowns, so there are still spaces available for participants. If you are interested in what would be a regular weekly commitment of a few hours, working in groups to spruce up tanks, armoured personnel carriers and other vehicles, get in contact by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the museum on 01252 314598.
Our Resilience Garden project was also delayed for the same reason. The project is targeted at men aged 18+: local veterans, serving forces and civilians coming together to create a garden at the museum. Its aim is to increase wellbeing and aid mental health recovery by bringing these different parts of the community together through collaborative, practical activity, in a safe and inspirational space.
The project is an alternative intervention to local support services for participants who are unlikely to utilise traditional therapies, such as counselling.
Via a programme of guided workshops this autumn and in spring 2022, participants will plan the garden, design and build seating, grow plants and socialise in a friendly, informal environment. In addition to the gardening workshops, there will be sessions to design plant supports and mosaic sculptures.
All workshops are free, with all tools and equipment provided and no previous experience needed. To learn more, or sign up, please email Helen at email@example.com, or call 07904 808113.
Aldershot Military Museum is open Wednesdays to Sundays 10am-4pm, and daily (with some exceptions) during school holidays. Please visit the link below for full details. Serving members of the military, on presentation of their MOD90 ID, receive a 20% discount on admission for their visiting group.