As part of the Positive Pathways Programme, On Course Foundation were awarded two grants of £35,000 to support veterans in the West of Scotland and North East of England.
The West of Scotland is a region previously untouched by On Course Foundation and this funding has not only allowed us to deliver and plan events in the area, but has also enabled Scottish based staff to build relationships with other veterans organisations in the area, including; Walking With the Wounded, BLESMA, Erskine Homes and Veterans Hub Lanarkshire.
We have also been able to partner with Community Veterans Support (based in Govan, Glasgow) and some of their beneficiaries attended our event at Gailes Golf, Irvine in June:
”Community Veterans Support were contacted by the Positive Pathways Programme about a golf initiative for veterans. I contacted Will Barker from the On Course Foundation using the email address on the PDF flyer that had been emailed to me. From start to finish they could not have been more positive and helpful. We quickly agreed a date when I might bring some of our veterans to the Gailes Hotel for golf tuition.
None of the veterans from our organisation who attended had actually played before. Eddie Thomson, the golf professional, provided first class golf tuition from the outset and his calm professionalism and open, friendly approach put any fears at rest. We began hitting balls almost immediately in the driving range and afterwards progressed to driving, chipping, pitching and finally putting – all on the short course.
Every single veteran agreed that it had been a completely outstanding day and we were all treated with nothing but respect and friendship. One of our veterans commented later in a Facebook post describing the event: ”Would advise anyone to attend this event, informative and an all-round outstanding day out, and of course, superb one-to-one tuition with Eddie.”
I wholeheartedly recommend this initiative to any veteran who wishes to have a great day on the golf course and learn what a terrific and inclusive game golf can be. Sincere thanks to On Course Foundation”
Dave Devenney, Director of Community Veterans Support
Although previously active in the North East of England, this funding has meant that we have been able to double the number of events that we deliver here. So far we have delivered activities in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Northallerton, and have upcoming events in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Leeds and Morpeth.
As well as delivering these events for current beneficiaries, it’s been great to meet so many first-time attendees, including Laura, Jenny and Maria-Theresa who are featured in the above video.
We are making a push to encourage more female veterans to attend our programme and take up golf on a long-term basis, assisting with their rehabilitation. All three have since attended and signed up to further On Course Foundation events and it’s great to see the progress that is being made both on and off the course.