An organisation that offers vital health and wellbeing support to
veterans and those with complex mental health needs is marking its fourth
birthday by expanding the services it offers so that it can help even more
Walnut Tree Health and Wellbeing, which is supported by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS
Foundation Trust (NSFT), was set up by Army veteran Luke Woodley after he
overcame post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which resulted from his
experiences in the field.
Since then, it has begun offering a range of additional and innovative services
for ex-military personnel and others with complex needs. These include the
Veterans' Stabilisation Programme, which is provided in partnership with NSFT
and offers group support to ex-Forces personnel, and Paw Support, which pairs
veterans with rescue dogs in need of a good home.
In addition, it also provides a Community Response Team, which sees four
specially equipped vehicles taking specialist mental health support to people
in crisis out of hours across Norfolk and Waveney.
Now, to celebrate the Walnut Tree’s fourth birthday on 19 July, the community
interest company is expanding to take on more room at its new base at
Ketteringham Hall, near Wymondham, so that it can offer more services to more
This includes trauma re-enactment therapy, which sees groups of men re-enact
traumatic events, which have caused their mental ill health in order to
understand how it is affecting their feelings, reactions and psychological
The project was developed in Canada and has been spearheaded in England by Dr
Roger Kingerlee, Senior Clinical Psychologist with NSFT. It was successfully
piloted during June and will welcome its second group of delegates in
In addition, Walnut Tree Health and Wellbeing is also developing new family
support training for partners or family members living with a loved one with
mental ill health, as well as a service aimed at helping people who are
self-medicating with alcohol and prescription medication.
“It is quite humbling to see how Walnut Tree has developed,” said Luke. “It
started life with me volunteering some of my time and has grown into a
fully-fledged community interest company which has made a difference to
hundreds of people’s lives.
“Walnut Tree has grown exponentially in the last four years, and has not only
proved to be cost effective but also efficient. Our Community Response Team now
operates four cars across Norfolk and Waveney and has saved 17 lives over the
past 19 months, while the Veterans' Stabilisation Programme continues to
receive excellent feedback and has had some phenomenal results.
“We have now widened our scope and no longer just work with veterans – we now
support other groups as well, including those with complex mental health needs,
and offer our services through a team of 25 volunteers and three directors.
“We are always looking for ways to further expand the services we provide and
offer additional support to local people, and look forward to continuing to do
so during the next four years and beyond.”
Hethersett Rugby Club is hosting a special event to raise funds towards Walnut
Tree Health and Wellbeing’s running costs on Saturday 28 July from 12.30pm. A
team will turn out in Walnut Tree kits, kicking off at 2pm, while there will
also be a variety of different entertainments for the whole family, including
bouncy castles and refreshments.
Caption: Luke Woodley (right) with Dr Roger Kingerlee
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