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Work produced by military veterans as part of a series of creative wellbeing workshops has gone on display in a temporary exhibition at Aldershot Military Museum.

The sessions were held as part of a Hampshire Cultural Trust partnership with the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health, Combat Stress. During 20 workshops held during spring and autumn 2019, veterans were invited to Aldershot to view and handle objects from the museum’s collections. These included military medals and part of an aircraft propeller thought to have belonged to local hero and pilot, Samuel Cody, which were used as a way for the veterans to explore memories and their hopes for recovery.

The veterans were also given time and guidance to come up with creative responses to the object handling as a way of contributing to their mental wellbeing. The resulting work is now part of a temporary exhibition at the museum which runs until Friday 24 April 2020. Visitors can enjoy a mix of art, poetry and even models produced following the workshops, displayed alongside the objects that inspired them.

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health. For a century, they have helped former servicemen and women with mental health issues including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Highly-trained staff offer a range of treatment services in the community, at specialist centres, on the phone and online in order to support veterans in tackling the past and preparing for the future. 

Opened in 1984, Aldershot Military Museum is housed in the only surviving brick-built barrack blocks left in Aldershot. Through collections that include military objects and vehicles, it tells the story of daily life for both soldiers and civilians since 1854. The museum is operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust, an independent charity set up in 2014 to promote Hampshire as a county that offers outstanding cultural experiences to both its residents and visitors.