Swire Charitable Trust Donation
Huge thanks to Swire Charitable Trust for their generous donation to the Horticultural Therapy Challenge which takes us nearer to our target to get to The Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre in 2018. We are very grateful to them for their support.
Thanks to the generosity of The Company of Public Relations Practitioners, HighGround has begun a partnership with Sky Blue Toffee who will work with us to improve our marketing and communications so we can increase donations and brand awareness.
The White Ensign Association (WEA) is a fantastic organisation run by a small team of helpful professionals who all punch well above their weight. We are delighted to be included in the latest edition of WEA News. Read their newsletter here: WEA November 2017. It’s a privilege to be associated with them.
HighGround are immensely proud of the backing we get from our supporters and volunteers. One of the ways anybody can get involved, and help the charity raise funds for all the services we provide, is to raise money by taking part in a sponsored event or challenge. That’s exactly what Katherine Pout is doing right now, by running an Ultra Marathon! Kat is just one of many of our supporters doing great things in order to raise awareness of the charity and ensure that it continues for many years to come.
Anna attended the inaugural Resettlement and Careers Fair at CTCRM, Lympstone organised by The Royal Marines Charity.
HighGround Ted raised lots of money in a raffle after Church Parade on Remembrance Sunday. He has found a lovely new home and we want to thank everyone who contributed so generously to the raffle.
Huge thanks to everyone who has contacted us after seeing the article in Mole Valley Farmers Country Store Winter magazine to offer our HighGrounders work experience. The missing link for so many of those leaving the military and in this week of Remembrance, so crucially important. Click the image below to read the article:
We are happy to have Next’s support as their “Bouquet of the Month” gift bag for November comes with HighGround’s information card inside.
Julian Joins the Team
We are delighted that Julian Sayers has joined us as Ops, Outreach and Liaison Officer thanks to the generosity of The Soldier’s Charity. Welcome, Julian!
Bicton College kindly hosted a reception for us to showcase our Rural Weeks and thank all the people who have given their time and expertise to make our 2017 Rural Weeks programme so successful.
We are now fundraising for our 2018 Rural Weeks programme at Bicton, and to have the support of so many wonderful people and being able to build on the success of this year as we help Service Leavers and Veterans to find Life beyond the military – Outdoors is so precious.
HighGround Welcomes New Trustee
HighGround’s Chairman of Trustees Ian Elliott OBE welcomes a new member to the Board:
“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Julian Browne to HighGround’s Board of Trustees. As a Senior Advisor in The Carlyle Group, Julian offers a magnificent blend of military experience and senior corporate knowledge of the defence and aerospace sectors. His widespread professional acumen coupled with his energy and enthusiasm make him an immensely valuable new member of the HighGround team.”
– Ian Elliott OBE, Chairman of Trustees
We had a coffee and cake morning at Headley Court for our friends and supporters on Wednesday including Hortus Loci, Headley Gardening Club and Sutton and East Surrey Water. The coffee and apple cake went down a triumph!
The HighGround Team had a fabulous time during the Blesma Golf Day. Thank you to John and Laura at Strathcarrons for providing our team with the polo shirts used in the event, Blesma for hosting, and our golfing HighGrounders John, Peter, Nic and Mick for playing for us.
Carol in Head Gardeners
Head Gardeners by Ambra Edwards and (photographer) Charlie Hopkinson was published earlier this week and Carol Sales, HighGround’s Horticultural Therapist at Headley Court, is one of the twelve “most exciting gardeners working in Britain today”.
The chapter about Carol and her work at Headley Court gives a unique insight into what has been achieved there and it’s a beautifully produced and written book which needs buying. The book emphasizes the importance of Horticultural Therapy to the rehabilitation of injured personnel, which is why HighGround’s Horticultural Therapy Challenge needs support to continue this service.
Blesma Golf Day
We are delighted to be fielding a team for Blesma’s Charity Golf Day at Denham Golf Club on 28th September to help raise money for Blesma. Come on Team HighGround!
Garden Therapy Scheme Under Threat
HighGround has been mentioned in Amateur Gardening’s Bank Holiday special issue: ‘Garden Therapy Scheme Under Threat’ about our work at Headley Court and how we need to raise £354,000 to finance another 3 years of Horticultural Therapy.
The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) have mentioned HighGround in their latest newsletter. Read what they had to say here: TFA Newsletter.
HighGround is currently in the running for a £25,000 community award from the OneFamily Foundation. The money will go towards the Horticultural Therapy Challenge, providing injured Armed Forces personnel with a much needed and unique rehabilitation service.
We have some exciting news about HighGround and Buchanan Trust!
The response to The Sunday Times article has been fantastic. We’ve had so many donations towards our Horticultural Therapy Challenge.
Officers’ Association Webinar
The Officers’ Association held a webinar with Anna Baker Cresswell, the founder of HighGround, to inform, advise and support Service Leavers, Veterans and all in the Armed Forces community on what the Land-based sector is and the opportunities available in this field.
Our latest Rural Week at Bicton College went very well and we’ve had a lot of great feedback from our HighGrounders:
The Soldiers’ Charity Makes Operations Manager Possible
A huge thank you to The Soldiers’ Charity who have given us some funding towards the cost of a much needed Operations Manager. Now we just need to find him or her!
We are glad to have been accepted as an Information Partner within the Veterans’ Gateway.
HighGround held an Insight Day today in order to give a brief overview of what the Land-based sector holds for Service Leavers and Veterans. Guest speakers came along to talk about their experiences with Land-based opportunities, such as smallholdings and farming.
Reception at Horseferry Road
We had a reception at Horseferry Road last week to thank our wonderful volunteers and welcome our new Chairman. Here’s to the next chapter!
Here are a few pictures of Carol, our Horticultural Therapist at Headley Court, and her planting team in action during the run up to the 2017 Chelsea Flower Show.
The Start of Chelsea:
The Miracle-Gro ‘Come to your Senses’ garden won Gold at The Chelsea Flower Show and Best Discovery Exhibit award!
HighGround are delighted to be supporting Miracle-Gro as they create their ‘Come to your Senses’ garden in the Great Pavilion of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
In what is thought to be the first project of its kind at the world’s most famous flower show, a team of current and former patients, volunteers and staff from HighGround will spend three days creating Miracle Gro’s ‘Come to your Senses’ garden.
HighGround was in last week’s Farmers Weekly, ‘Charity brings military talent to farming’, and the response has been amazing!
HighGround is delighted to announce the appointment of Air Commodore (rtd) Ian Elliott as their new Chairman of Trustees. Ian’s last posting in the RAF was as Air Attache in Washington and he has spent the last 5 years at Airbus.
Opportunities in the Pig Sector
The pig sector is a very technical and innovative industry with the role of stock people encompassing more and more technical knowledge, responsibility and expertise. Training and funding can be provided if you are interested in opportunities for military leavers within the English pig sector.
Latest News from HighGround
Breaking News from HighGround! Click here to find out more.
We are really excited to be working with Pro Bono Economics who are helping us to quantify and describe our impact. The start of a new chapter for HighGround!
Happy New Year from Team HighGround!
Thank you to everyone who has followed, funded and supported us in 2016. Don’t stop now as there is stacks to do – keep checking Good News and have a terrific 2017.
You can read it and download it here.
Careers Manager Says Farewell
Our Careers Manager, Sami Choudhury, has finished his last day today with HighGround. Sad to see him go but we wish him all the best with his new role with the Poppy Factory.
Thank you for everything you have done for the charity and its HighGrounders, Sami.
After completing our final Rural Week of 2016, I thought it would be good to reflect on how the Rural Week went and share some of the feedback HighGround has received. We had 8 Veterans attend who accessed HighGround services through the likes of the Career Transition Partnership, Walking with the Wounded, Combat Stress or directly – via our website. Reasons for attending varied from wanting more information on the land-based sector, looking to identify future employment opportunities and accessing vocational opportunities. Everyone had a strong interest in the land-based sector and were keen to find out more about what the sector could offer them.
John Takes Flight
Everyone at HighGround is pleased with how John is getting on as a falconer. Well done to him. We are also happy with how good the video of John on our Facebook page has turned out!
Watch here to see HighGround in action – John Macleod is an inspiration and the perfect illustration of how we help those who have served to find Life beyond the miltary – outdoors.
We delivered our final Rural Week of the 2016 programme last week which went extremely well. Thank you to everyone who participated and made it such a success.
Thanks again to everyone at Cultivate NSW for such a great Aussie welcome when I spoke at your Conference recently. The presentation and notes are here and do please keep in touch – we are all on the same team!!
Charitable Bookings Launch
HighGround had a fantastic time at the Charitable Bookings launch last week at the Victory Services Club. Great to see so many charities involved.
Thank you Jo
Huge thanks to Jo for all her wonderful volunteer Research Administrator work for HighGround. Good Luck with the new job Jo!
The Rare Breeds Survival Trust
Anna went to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust AGM this week. Fantastic to be working with them.
New service for RAF Veterans and family members ages 16-64
Anxiety UK and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund have teamed up to provide a new support service for RAF Veterans and family members dealing with anxiety of depression. Please let any members of the RAF family know about this new service. More information.
We are now registered with ChariTable Bookings. If you wish to support us, download the app here and get booking.
The Game Fair
Congrats to all at The Game Fair for a great show. Hatfield House in 2017 – see you there!
Big thank you to Mebs for fundraising for us
HighGround would like to thank Mebs for using a HighGround money box to raise £45.30 for us. We are so grateful for your support and it does make a big difference. Very much appreciated.
The Royal Marines Charity
We are delighted to be working with The Royal Marines Charity. Click for Link.
Big thank you to The Soldiers’ Charity
Further funding from The Soldiers’ Charity. We are extremely grateful for their continued support. See Link
Big HighGround welcome to Richard, our new Gardening Volunteer at Headley Court who starts next week – thanks Richard
Dr Zoe Morrison of Aberdeen University is conducting an independent evaluation of the Rural Weeks and this anonymised comment was written by an RXW8 participant:
‘Loved it. It far exceeded my expectations and has given my confidence in pursuing employment in areas of interest around limitations. The staff were encouraging and motivational.’
Everyone at HighGround takes note of the feedback our HighGrounders give and we hope to continue to give our HighGrounders more resources and support in future Rural Weeks.
Priddy, a serving Royal Navy Warfare Officer, attended our Rural Week in June 2016. He was 9 months away from discharge and looking to gain a better understanding of the opportunities in Wales where he was looking to relocate. Here is what he had to say about the programme:
Thank you Maherban
Big HighGround thanks to Maherban, our intern, for his wonderful volunteering in the office. Good Luck for the new job on Monday and keep in touch!!
Rail Event 2016
HighGround had a great day at the Rail Live 2016 event at Long Marston Airfield this week. The Two day event was packed full of displays of engineering, the latest innovation in the railway industry and huge organisations within the sector. Great to be involved and very insightful.
HighGround had a great day earlier this week at the 11Bde Transition Fair meeting many who are interested in the land based sector. Great to see so many supporting agencies together.
Welcome to the HighGround Team
A warm welcome to Andy, our fourth Garden Team volunteer at Headley Court.
Neil was still serving with the Army (Royal Armoured Corps) when he decided to attend a HighGround Rural Week to identify opportunities who could access on discharge.
‘I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you all again for an absolutely fantastic week. I am still assimilating the vast amount of information and the possible opportunities given! Please pass on my sincere thanks to all the lecturers who gave freely of their time and knowledge, in a hugely professional and appropriate way.’
Thank you, Neil. We hope to continue to give all of our HighGrounders the support they need and deserve, and are glad that you had a great time with us.
Here we are again in sunny Plumpton for our latest Rural Week. We welcome individuals from the Officers Association, CTP and Headley Court, amongst others. Great bunch all keen on moving towards the land based sector.
Richard’s New Role
Congratulations John on your apprenticeship with Hawks Of Steele. Great step forward in regards to your career aspirations. Good luck from the HighGround team.
HighGround Rural Week
Our first Rural Week of 2016 was completed last week. It was hugely successful and has proved to be very useful to those who attended. Big thank you to Plumpton College staff for their hard work.
The Chairman and Trustees of HighGround are delighted to announce that Tim Eastwood has been appointed to join the Board with immediate effect.
Aldershot PRU Visit
Our Careers Manager will be at the Roebuck Accord event at 11Bde PRU in Aldershot on the 21st April. Looking to spread the HighGround word.
Our Spring newsletter is now available. You can read it by signing up on this page and previous newsletters are archived here http://highground-uk.org/thenews/
HighGround would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter. Hope you have a fantastic Easter weekend and enjoy the chocolate. We have had a fantastic week participating in a Officers Association Webinar and attending the Armed Forces Transition Fair at Tidworth Leisure Centre. Great Stuff.
Our Careers Manager, Sami, will be taking part in a Officers Association Webinar on the 22nd March. If you are a former officer and would like to find out more about the land based sector and what services HighGround provide, please register your details.
Big congratulations to Mark who will start his new career as a landscape gardener this week at his local golf club with the help of HighGround
Thank you Strawberry Hill House
Huge thanks to Strawberry Hill House for offering work experience opportunities for HighGrounders in their gardens and grounds. We really look forward to working with them.
Great news. Our Rural Week’s are filling up with only a couple of places left for our April programme. If you are interested in booking a place, please contact our careers manager, Sami Choudhury. email@example.com.
Audley End Estate
A big thank you to Audley End Estate for supporting one of our beneficiaries by offering a tailored, work experience opportunity.
Congrats to Haydn
Would like to say Haydn joined us on a Rural Week last year and he’s now lambing – huge thanks to Anne and Norma and big congrats to Haydn!
A big thank you to the Trustees of Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund
We are deeply grateful to the Trustees of Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund who have recently made a very generous donation towards the cost of the 2016 Rural Weeks programme.
We are in the Spring edition of Veterans WORLD
First for 2016
The first seeds of 2016 have germinated in our propagator at Headley Court – Spring is on its way
2016 Rural Weeks dates
Dates for the 2016 Rural Weeks programme have now been confirmed to start in April and will be delivered at Plumpton College. Please contact Sami Choudhury for further details on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07496610210.
New Careers Manager
Sami joined Team HighGround on Monday as our first dedicated Careers Manager and all of us at HighGround send our best wishes for the festive season and beyond – there is much to play for!
Alex Hardman interview
Alex Hardman who makes the Rural Weeks at Plumpton possible is in the news.
Statement Re Sami Choudhury’s appointment as HighGround’s first Careers Manager.
We are on page 12 of the Worshipful Company of Farmers’ Autumn newsletter – very proud of Neil!
Next Flowers donation
From Weds 28th Sept to 11th Nov, Next will donate 10% of sales from their remembrance bouquet to HighGround. Click here for more details.
Alex’s radio interview
Alex Hardman was interviewed by Uckfield FM, Plumpton College’s local radio station – you can listen to it here.
We are in the current edition of LifeWorks, RBLI’s magazine. You can read the full version in our Press Room.
Dedicated Careers Manager
Due to the success of the Rural Weeks programme, we are now looking for a dedicated Careers Manager. For a full job spec please look here and contact Anna in the first instance with a CV and short explanation about why you are interested in the position.
Headley Court Press Day
The press day at Headley Court on Wednesday to mark another chapter of Home Thoughts from Abroad and welcome Bombardier John Macleod back from Africa, was blessed with warm September sunshine.
Our 3rd Rural Week
We had our 3rd Rural Week at Plumpton College in lovely September sunshine. Thank you to everyone who made it possible – Alex and all the staff at Plumpton the outside presenters and evening speakers and most of all, the Service Leavers and Veterans who came to find out more about the land-based sector and the opportunities it holds for ex military people of all ages.
Tusk’s Vulture Conservation Project
Bombardier John Macleod is now in Africa volunteering at Vulpro, Tusk’s vulture conservation project run by Dr Kerri Walter. Here they are with a bataleur and vulture. Follow John on tumblr and Facebook.
On Course Foundation
On Course Foundation very kindly invited me to speak at their golfing event for WIS and veterans at Dale Hill Golf Club in Sussex. A great evening in spite of all the rain and many thanks to OCF for giving me the opportunity to tell more people about HighGround.
A visit from Hortus Loci
We were thrilled that Mark Straver from Hortus Loci came to visit us at Headley Court on Monday to talk about Home Thoughts from Abroad and has very generously agreed to donate the trees – what a complete star!
We are collaborating with Tusk so John Macleod, a wounded soldier can volunteer on their vulture conservation project in Africa – see here for how you can support him.
A visit from the Westminster Foundation
We were delighted to welcome Virginia Parish from the Westminster Foundation to Headley Court for her first ever visit.
The Ripple Pond’s visit
Sue Hawkins who founded The Ripple Pond with Julia Molony came to visit us at Headley Court and left with lots of goodies from Carol for her garden!
The Summer edition of our e-Newsletter is now ready so if you haven’t signed up to receive it, Hurry Up! We have archived previous editions which can be found here
Our first 2 Rural Weeks of 2015 are now behind us and you can see the weeks in pictures here. Thank-you to everyone who joined us and all the staff at Plumpton, and the weather! Link to our first Rural Week here – there will be more news of our other weeks to follow.
Veolia Environment Trust
Thank you so much to Veolia Environment Trust for inviting me to their reception at the House of Lords on Thursday to celebrate their award winning projects. It was a fascinating day and great to see the wonderful work they are doing.
Maxton joins Team HighGround
We are delighted to welcome Maxton Scotland to our small team. He left the Royal Navy in March and is volunteering for us at Horseferry Road to bring some much-needed order to the office – Welcome!!
On a sunny Spring morning last week by kind permission of the CO, we welcomed funders and supporters to Headley Court to witness the turning of the first turf of the new garden Home Thoughts from Abroad.
The Spring edition of our e-Newsletter is now ready so if you haven’t signed up to receive it, Hurry Up! We have archived previous editions which can be found here
HighGround appoints its first Chairman.
Visit from the Royal Horticultural Society
Wonderful to have Jim Gardiner and Colin Crosbie from the RHS visit us at Headley Court today, Carol is showing them the Test Track garden.
The photos from the Private View of Jeremy Houghton’s exhibition in aid of HighGround can be seen here.
The Private View of Guarding the Countryside to raise funds for HighGround on Tuesday was a great success. The show runs until 18th March at the Osborne Studio Gallery
HighGround is delighted to announce that we are now an MoD approved partner of Recovery Career Services
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
We were delighted to welcome Deirdre and David from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to Headley Court – it will be great to work together, watch this space for more news..!
Welcome Colonel Barney Haugh
We were delighted to welcome Colonel Barney Haugh of The Soldiers’ Charity to HighGround at Headley Court for his first visit.
Equipped Magazine Coverage
Great start to our New Year to get some copy in Equipped magazine, many thanks for the exposure! See Press Coverage for more >
It has been quite a year for us at HighGround. Carol started at Headley Court in February and is now so busy that her new assistant Gina, starts in January. We had our first Development Board meeting in July, successfully delivered 2 pilot Rural Weeks at Plumpton College in in the autumn and welcomed 2 new Trustees to the Board. Thank you to everyone who helped, supported and hustled for us in 2014 – don’t stop now there is much to do..! Happy Christmas and here’s to 2015.
Anna’s letter about veterans’ charities was published in The Times on 25th November, read it in full here.
Our Autumn newsletter is now available
Our Autumn newsletter is now available and you can read it by signing up to receive it by e-mail here. We hope you enjoy reading it; all suggestions for future issues very welcome!
Our 2nd Rural Week
We had our 2nd pilot Rural Week at Plumpton College this week in glorious autumn sunshine. Thank you to everyone who gave up their time to join us and to Plumpton for their brilliant hospitality – Dr Zoe Morrison’s independent evaluation will be ready in December.
Visit From Tim Brawn
We were delighted that Tim Brawn, Head of Fundraising and Communications at Combat Stress came to visit us – looking forward to visiting Tyrwhitt House when the rain stops!
New To Our Board Of Trustees
At our Trustees Meeting on Tuesday we welcomed Tony Groom and Brian Payne to the Board – they both bring experience and wisdom and we are very fortunate they are joining us at such an exciting moment in our development – welcome both!
Welcome Margaret Holland-Prior
We were delighted to welcome Margaret Holland-Prior of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners to Headley Court on Thursday and she met Carol and saw for herself the Horticultural Therapy service which HighGround is providing for DMRC’s patients.
Jane Urquhart Work Placement
Another HighGround milestone as our associate Jane Urquhart Limited secures a work placement in Devon for our first transitioning soldier. Well Done Ben and Thank-you Jane!
The Summer edition of our e-Newsletter is now ready so if you haven’t signed up to receive it, Hurry Up!
We have archived previous editions which can be found here
Pilot Rural Weeks: Date Finalised
We visited Plumpton College again last week to finalise the dates for the pilot Rural Weeks – here is David with Alex Hardman outside the College. Watch this space for more details about the pilot Rural Weeks in the autumn.
David Steele Runs London Marathon
Colonel David Steele ran the London Marathon on behalf of HighGround and the British Exploring Society. Here he is presenting General Peter Pearson, Governor of the Military Knights of Windsor and Executive Director of BE with their cheque. We thank him for his wonderful gesture and his generous donation.
Welcome Roger de Courcey
We were delighted to welcome Roger de Courcey from the Worshipful Company of Glovers and Jim Webster to Headley Court today to meet Carol and see the garden.
Start of Phase 3
As we prepare for the first meeting of the Development Board which marks the start of Phase 3. It’s time to thank all the people who have supported and encouraged us to reach this milestone in HighGround’s life – thank you all and I hope you are enjoying the journey with us!
Chelsea Flower Show Garden
Huge congratulations to everyone involved with the fabulous show garden at Chelsea Flower Show from everyone at HighGround. See our fact sheet for more details.
Headley Court: Press Day Success
The press day at Headley Court on Tuesday was a great success and the weather was kind to us. British Forces Broadcasting News (BFBS) broadcast a feature live from Headley Court. You can watch it here. Or you can see the shorter version of Caroline Wayatt’s film here.
Thank you Press Day Volunteers
Massive thanks to the volunteers from Sutton & East Surrey Water who came to Headley Court to help Carol get the test track garden tidied up before the Press Day.
All roads now lead to Chelsea Flower Show which starts on 19th May and the plants for ‘No Man’s Land’ are ready to be delivered to Chelsea.
Our Spring Newsletter Is Now Ready
Our Spring newsletter is now ready and you can read it by signing up to receive it by e-mail here. There will be 4 a year and we hope you enjoy reading it; all suggestions for future issues very welcome!
David Runs London Marathon
David ran the London Marathon in 5 hours 51.01 – what an inspiration he, and all the London Marathoners, are!
We had a reception on 27th March at Horseferry Road to thank Annington and our other funders and supporters and launch HighGround.
Chelsea Flower Show 2014
ABF the Soldiers’ Charity sent a film crew to Headley Court on Wednesday as part of the build-up to their Chelsea Flower Show 2014 garden No Mans’ Land – the plants which Carol and her patients are growing on for Chelsea have arrived and the countdown has begun!
Visit to Plumpton College’s Training Facilities
Anna and David visited Plumpton College on Thursday to see their wonderful land-based education and training facilities. Thank you to everyone who made it such a fascinating day, we’ll be back!
Great news! Our JustGiving page is now up and running. Click the link to support us and the Armed Forces community or you can text HIGH14 £10 to 70070 to donate to HighGround.
We were delighted that Carol’s appointment at Headley Court made it into this month’s Soldier magazine.
Welcome Chris Bond
We are delighted to welcome Chris Bond to Team HighGround thanks to Reach Skills www.reachskills.org.uk. Chris will supervise HighGround’s IT requirements – welcome Chris!
Thanks to the generosity of Annington, we have moved to RHQ, The London Scottish Regiment in Westminster. All of us HighGrounders are very sad to leave our friends at the Conservation Foundation.
HighGround is delighted to have recruited a Horticultural Therapist to provide year-round Horticultural Therapy sessions at Headley Court.
The Royal Scots Club
The Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh – royalscotsclub.com – very kindly invited me to come and speak to their members about HighGround. They are huge supporters of Armed Forces charities and I hope very much that they will ask me back to update them on our progress. Thank you all for such a warm welcome.
National Memorial Arboretum Visit
Many thanks to James Shallcross of the National Memorial Arboretum www.thenma.org.uk for his time when David and Anna visited last week.
The Walled Kitchen Garden Network’s walledgardens.net annual Forum was held at Attingham Park in Shropshire last weekend