Jim and Sally’s Story: ‘A New Lease on Life’ at Veterans Outreach Support

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we are featuring one of many stories from our service users. This story belongs to Jim and Sally, a husband and wife pair who joined Veterans Outreach Support (VOS) after spotting one of our adverts in a magazine. They rang us up, found out when to drop by, and joined us for a ‘Mid-Monthly Muster’ at the Royal Maritime Hotel.

“We had a look round the room with all the people that were available to help, and really neither of us have looked back ever since,” Sally recalls.

They’ve found a community where they belong, alongside dozens of other local veterans from the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, and Merchant Navy plus their spouses/partners and carers.

“I can get into it with a bunch of chaps who’ve got the same attitude to life as I have,” Jim says. “You know, let’s enjoy ourselves when we can!”

Here’s what the pair had to say when they sat down for a chat with our Wellbeing & Volunteers Manager, Wendy Pearson.

In the video, you can hear Sally explain that before VOS, Jim was ‘ageing before his time.’ She says VOS brought back a cheerful version of her husband that she hadn’t seen in years.

Jim has lived an exciting life, with a varied career including time in both the Army Catering Corps and the Merchant Navy.

“He is always ready to tell stories of adventures at sea, friends he has made around the world and places he has seen,” Sally shared with VOS in a written testimonial. “When Jim retired, he continued to enjoy an active lifestyle until the worst happened and he suffered heart attacks and bowel cancer. Finally, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia and his active life came to a grinding halt.”

Like many among us, Jim was experiencing health difficulties which resulted in depression. He had withdrawn from activities he once loved and lost all interest in getting out and about. Sally remembers the day this began to change:

“One day in 2022, when things were very low, I noticed an advert for VOS. Reading this I wondered if this was somewhere I could take Jim to rekindle his interest in life…From that moment Jim began to perk up. Excited as the day drew near, the welcome we received was wonderful. From that first day onwards his mood lifted.”

Local veterans in Portsmouth enjoying mental health support and wellbeing activities at the Royal Maritime Hotel.
Sally (left) and Jim (seated front) at one of our wild ‘Skittles & Snorkers’ nights.

Now both Jim and Sally look forward to the wellbeing activities VOS runs, including craft sessions and boat trips. These adventures are free and accessible thanks to VOS’ generous donors, funders, and volunteers. Jim says his son (a fellow veteran who now lives in Australia) was jealous of their time on the motor gun boat– an unforgettable trip spent speeding down the Solent! Another highlight was their recent visit to the Cotswolds via VOS to attend a book binding session with Bound By Veterans.

Local veterans in Portsmouth enjoying mental health support and wellbeing activities at the Royal Maritime Hotel.
The pair at a recent coronation printmaking activity with VOS at the Round Tower.
Local veterans in Portsmouth enjoying mental health support and wellbeing activities at the Royal Maritime Hotel.
Jim (right) taking a ride on Motor Gun Boat 81.

“Having VOS in our lives has made such a positive impact on both of us,” Sally shares. “Friends, neighbors, and his Dementia nurses all say Jim has ‘come alive’ again. He is back to the cheerful chatty man he was before his illnesses…He has new friends with similar memories and he has a positive focus now. I can never thank VOS enough for what they do.”

Local veterans in Portsmouth enjoying mental health support and wellbeing activities at the Royal Maritime Hotel.
Jim having a chuckle with the VOS mascot, Stanley.

To anyone considering joining Veterans Outreach Support, Jim has a simple message:

“I’d advise them to come here. In fact, I’d be honoured to be able to talk to somebody and get them to come here…we do all sorts of things, and also you can get advice, you know. It’s a place you can go and get advice if you’ve got a problem.”

If you’re a veteran from the UK Armed Forces or the Merchant Navy (from any time of service) or a partner to one, VOS would love for you to join our community. We are here to offer our support: call us on 02392 731 767, visit an upcoming drop-in, or email wellbeing@vosuk.org.

VOS is immensely grateful to all of our funders, volunteers, and delivery partners, as without their support we would not be able to provide our wellbeing activities.

 

Get in touch your way

Scroll to top of page
VETERANS FOUNDATION LOTTERY LOGO

The Veterans' Foundation Lottery

The Veterans’ Foundation work with hundreds of charitable organisations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to provide a better life for our armed forces family who are in need.

They help partner organisations  deliver life-changing projects through a grant award scheme.

Through supporter donations, fundraising events and their popular Veterans’ Lottery, the Veterans’ Foundation are able to positively change lives.

CHARITIES TRUST LOGO

Charities Trust

Charities Trust is a leading donations management organisation committed to growing charitable giving since 1987.

They offer a wide range of services to help their clients raise millions of pounds for good causes, easily, safely and tax effectively.

PORTSMOUTH COMMUNITY LOTTERY LOGO

Portsmouth Community Lottery

Portsmouth Community Lottery is a weekly lottery that directly supports causes benefitting the Portsmouth community. Lotteries are a fun, effective way for causes to raise much-needed funds and community awareness.

60% of your ticket price goes to good causes (over DOUBLE the National Lottery contribution), AND the money raised goes to good local community causes.

Proceeds fuel a general good cause fund run by HIVE Portsmouth to provide vital support to wide ranging community organisations.

PORTSMOUTH COMMUNITY LOTTERY LOGO

Portsmouth Community Lottery

Portsmouth Community Lottery is a weekly lottery that directly supports good causes which benefit the Portsmouth community.

Lotteries are a fun, effective way for causes to raise much-needed funds in these difficult times. By getting more people on board, they don’t just raise funds, they also raise awareness.

When you play the Portsmouth Community Lottery you know that 60% of your ticket price goes to good causes (more than DOUBLE what the National Lottery gives) AND the money raised is going to good causes that benefit your local community.

Proceeds generated from this page go into a general good cause fund, administered by HIVE Portsmouth, which will be spent on providing vital support to a wide range of local community organisations.

Portsmouth Community Lottery is a weekly lottery that directly supports good causes which benefit the Portsmouth community.

Lotteries are a fun, effective way for causes to raise much-needed funds in difficult times. By getting more people on board, they don’t just raise funds, they also raise awareness.

60% of your ticket price goes to good causes (more than DOUBLE what the National Lottery gives) AND the money raised go to good causes that benefit your local community.

Proceeds generated from this page go into a general good cause fund, administered by HIVE Portsmouth, which will be spent on providing vital support to a wide range of local community organisations.

PORTSMOUTH COMMUNITY LOTTERY LOGO

Portsmouth Community Lottery

Portsmouth Community Lottery is a weekly lottery that directly supports good causes which benefit the Portsmouth community.

Lotteries are a fun, effective way for causes to raise much-needed funds in difficult times. By getting more people on board, they don’t just raise funds, they also raise awareness.

60% of your ticket price goes to good causes (more than DOUBLE what the National Lottery gives) that benefit your local community.

Proceeds generated from this page go into a general good cause fund, administered by HIVE Portsmouth, which will be spent on providing vital support to a wide range of local community organisations.

PORTSMOUTH COMMUNITY LOTTERY LOGO

Portsmouth Community Lottery

Portsmouth Community Lottery is a fun and effective way for your good cause to raise funds.

It was founded by Portsmouth City Council in 2016. In May 2021, the management of the lottery was transferred to HIVE Portsmouth.

HIVE work with and for the voluntary and community sector. The Portsmouth Community Lottery enables people to support the causes they care most about, helping good causes to connect with their supporters.

60% of your ticket price goes to good causes (over DOUBLE what the National Lottery’s contribution) – the money raised goes to good causes benefitting your local community.

The Veterans' Foundation Lottery

The Veterans’ Foundation is one of the country’s fastest-growing military charities. They proudly work with hundreds of smaller charities and charitable organisations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that share their passion: to provide a better life for our armed forces family who are in need (their beneficiaries).
They help their partner organisations by supporting them to deliver life-changing projects through our grant award scheme.
Through supporter donations, fundraising events and their popular Veterans’ Lottery, the Veterans’ Foundation are able to face and overcome challenges, changing lives changing for the better.
Joining the Veterans’ Lottery changes the lives of British heroes in need. Our armed forces stand together to thank you. Click below to start helping British veterans today

The Veterans' Foundation Lottery

The Veterans’ Foundation is one of the country’s fastest-growing military charities. They proudly work with hundreds of smaller charities and charitable organisations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that share their passion: to provide a better life for our armed forces family who are in need (their beneficiaries).
They help their partner organisations by supporting them to deliver life-changing projects through our grant award scheme.
Through supporter donations, fundraising events and their popular Veterans’ Lottery, the Veterans’ Foundation are able to face and overcome challenges, changing lives changing for the better.
Joining the Veterans’ Lottery changes the lives of British heroes in need. Our armed forces stand together to thank you. Click below to start helping British veterans today