The Making Generation R campaign is using the inspiring stories of how injured veterans tackled adversity to help children cope with the pressures of lockdown.
A digital resilience resource, featuring 30 veterans talking about their experiences, is being made available to help young people manage their anxiety and develop coping strategies.
Charities have warned that the restrictions imposed to combat the Coronavirus pandemic are having a huge toll on teenagers since UK schools closed in March.
The campaign, which involves veterans visiting schools and pupil referral units to share their powerful stories of overcoming adversity, has already benefitted more than 70,000 students across the UK and the aim is to continue its inspirational impact during lockdown.
The veterans, including former Royal Engineer Josh Boggi who won five Invictus Games medals after becoming a triple amputee aged just 23 in an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan, have filmed themselves at home and their powerful testimonies are accompanied by exercises that explore adversity and self-esteem.
“This is a free resource that is available to all schools and we hope it will help thousands of young people deal with the pressures of lockdown,” says Grace Staniland, managing director of The Drive Project, which runs the Making Generation R programme. “It has been running for four years and has had a significant, positive effect on young people helping them build resilience in times of stress.”
Making Generation R, which is suitable for ages 11 to 18, was created by Blesma, the limbless veterans’ charity. Its operations director, Ian Waller, adds:
“Our members are empowered by using their personal stories of how they overcame life-changing injuries and dark days. It helps with their recovery and feelings of value to society as well as helping young people cope with a range of stresses.
“This resource is much needed during these tough times and we hope that as many schools as possible take advantage of it.”
The resource is being used by schools and teacher Simon Gardiner, subject lead media studies at the Ark Globe Academy in south east London, says:
“During this challenging time MGR is a brilliant resilience resource to support our students, it’s such an engaging story and a refreshing new angle to help the students with their wellbeing.”
Mat Armitage, an amputee veteran and Making Generation R speaker, adds:
“By listening to the stories you will learn about what it means to be resilient and how we can use resilience to overcome the adversities we may face in our lives. Millions of people are experiencing adversity as a result of the Coronavirus. Many of us can’t visit loved ones, go to school or hang out with our friends. It’s a really challenging time.”
For further information about the free digital resilience resource and how teachers can request a copy visit www.makinggenerationr.com
MGR is funded by Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.
About Blesma, The Limbless Veterans
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932. Blesma is dedicated to assisting serving and ex-Service men and women who have suffered limb loss or the loss of use of a limb, an eye or loss of sight. We support these men and women and their families in their communities throughout the UK and overseas.
About The Drive Project
The Drive Project is an award-winning creative social enterprise which works alongside charities and businesses to inspire and empower people with arts projects, training and talks.