Walk Talk Action is a not-for-profit charitable organisation that helps veterans back to a better state of mind through walking, talking and taking action towards achieving their goals. The organisation has helped over 500 people directly and hundreds more alongside, indirectly.
Teri Elder, the founder of WTA, explained more about their organisation’s aims and support, saying: “We believe it is important to help the forces community, as I myself am a veteran and the veterans that have come to WTA have truly valued the experience of someone listening to them and being able to help them figure out: what it is they want in life and what is the next chapter.
“This is especially important, when leaving the forces, as it can feel like a whole new world adapting back into civvy street again; whether it has been one year or 22 years of service, we each have a story and have dedicated our lives to serving our Queen and country.
“We currently have two sites in Staffordshire, Oulton Dairy Farm and Fen Park, which are both very different. One is a working dairy farm with cows, donkeys, chickens, ducks, a Llama called Penelope and pigs. The other is a work in progress where we have volunteers working there twice a week to help cut down trees, pond dipping and think up ideas of how we can design the area it looks like a harbour area. It is a really cool space – wild and wonderful some might say, with a great walk that surrounds the local green area.
“We run weekly walks for the community and a veterans-only walk every week in different locations. We do try and hold a longer walk every six weeks for those that enjoy a good steady walk, in locations like, Macclesfield Forest, Cannock Chase, Knypersley Reservoir just to name a few.”
“We always ask everyone what their ultimate goal(s) are in life then break them down into manageable steps to help them achieve their first few steps towards it. It gives them a purpose and a way forward, a starting point.
“And I think we have all learnt that the first few steps to making any kind of changes is always the hardest. You are breaking away from the norm and trying to create a new habit. Our ten-week programme is dedicated to putting such things into action and, dependent upon the goal, would decide how we go about creating a plan of action.”
The organisation continues to grow from strength to strength. In the past year their work with the forces community has also been formally recognised by the Ministry of Defence, who awarded WTA with a Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award in 2021 for their actions and support.
What are the next steps for WTA?
Teri added: “We are forever growing and adapting to new opportunities that come our way, whether it be new areas of land we are gifted to look after, to make into a retreat for veterans and those that may be struggling with their mental state of mind.
“We listen to what people want and go with that (whichever direction that may take us) whilst abiding by our sole ethos of helping those that want to make a change in their life and doing our upmost to provide the connections and opportunities available to make those goals become a reality. Overcoming fear and any other obstacles that you may face, together, to give you back a purpose and meaning to your life – we are each born with a talent and WTA want to help you find yours.
“We are always looking for Walk Leaders, New Walks (within Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire areas), bushcraft and fieldcraft opportunities to come our way to help educate our volunteers and other participants to learn more about the benefits of being outside in nature. Not only this, but to apply lived experiences of living outside, basic survival skills and general enjoyment of the outdoors to others.
“Sometime all it takes is a good walk, talk and brew with a stranger that throws you some seeds to sow. Picking out what you need to work on and us helping you along the way!”
Read more about the work of Walk Talk Action and view details of their upcoming sessions can be found below.
June 2022 Timetable (term time only)
Monday – Volunteer Action Day and drop-in 09:30 – 14:00 at Fen Park.
– Veteran’s Walk 17:00 – 18:30 at Oulton Dairy Farm.
Tuesday – Community Walk 13:00 – 14:00 at Longton Park.
Thursday – Volunteer Action Day and drop-in 09:30 – 14:00 at Fen Park.
Friday – Regent College Learners Volunteering Group 11:30 – 12:30 at St Claire’s Church.
– Brew Up Catch Up drop in 13:00 – 14:30 at Fen Park.
Find out more about how the WM RFCA support veterans – www.wmrfca.org/veterans/