Below is a selection of testimonials from veterans that have attended previous expeditions with VetRun180. It is always great for us to hear the positive impact our expeditions make to the injured veterans.
I found out about VetRun180 through a former beneficiary who had been on one of the Sweden trips. I cannot give high enough praise to all the TLs and benefactors for what they have put together. This trip has had such an immediate impact on my mental health, and hopefully will be the catalyst for long term change.
A fantastic trip with an awesome group of individuals. It will challenge you, and if you let it, it will change you!
I read a newspaper article back in February 2019 about VetRun180. I looked them up online and submitted an interest form.
I was invited to go on an off-roading expedition to Galicia. The trip changed my whole outlook on life in general, I was in a pretty dark place at the time & the time away with like minded people was exactly what I needed.
I am lucky enough to have an amazing family but other than them I didn’t really have any drive or any goals set.
I am now a Team Leader with the charity and have been on vehicle based off-roading trips across Europe and more recently Snowmobiling in Sweden.
I have gained numerous qualifications through VetRun180 in Off-Road driving, Snowmobiling, First Aid and many more.
The concept of “Adventure Therapy” and the motto of “If It Doesn’t Challenge You It Won’t Change You” quite simply just works.
All expeds are led by injured veterans for the benefit of other injured veterans & it is because of this that relationships are forged.
Being placed out of your comfort zone & everyone having to pull in the same direction to be successful provides an unbelievable sense of belonging.
Being back around veterans who all have something in common, in that they are struggling in one way or another, whether that be physically or with their mental health & by working together to achieve what might seem unachievable to some is inspiring.
I owe the charity & the trustees a massive debt of gratitude, without VetRun180 in my life I would be stuck in a rut, plodding on with no sense of purpose, just going from day to day.
If anyone is out there reading this and thinks that they wouldn’t mind doing what we do and getting involved then, DO NOT HESITATE, complete the contact form on the VetRun180.org website and one of us will be in touch.
It might sound a bit of a cliché however, it could just change your whole perception on things, like it has mine and so many other lads and lasses across the UK.Ross - VetRun180 - Team Leader - Beneficiary
I am a former Royal Marines Commando having served for 11 years, and soon to be retired Police Officer serving for 23 years.
Up until a few years ago I was pottering along nicely. Then my physical health started to deteriorate, my legs started to falter and I had several operations on both my ankles and knees all service related. These operations left me with limited mobility, which meant I had to change my mindset when it came to physical fitness.
I was then diagnosed with severe Asthma. This has had a profound effect on me but again I have managed to adapt my lifestyle in order to control my symptoms.
Then the pandemic hit. Due to my severe Asthma I was classed as vulnerable. Unfortunately I caught Covid and became very ill. I was hospitalised and spent 3 weeks in hospital. I was very lucky to survive and contracted double pneumonia on the back of Covid. After being discharged from hospital and returning home I unfortunately didn’t get better and was eventually diagnosed with Long Covid. It wasn’t long after this that my mental health started to deteriorate. I became agoraphobic and suffered with anxiety and depression, and subsequently diagnosed with PTSD.
It has been a long struggle for me, but a friend of mine told me about VetRun 180. I applied to go on a trip to Sweden and was lucky enough to be selected.
I spent 5 days snowmobiling around Swedish Lapland. The trip itself was absolutely amazing. I was also very very lucky to spend time with some amazing people who I now class as friends.
There is no pressure, nobody judges you, and everyone was willing to listen…. This is better than any therapy!!
Amazing destination, amazing group of people, amazing charity. Thank you VetRun180 for giving me one of the best weeks of my life and hopefully setting me back on the path to good times….
Andy - VetRun180 - BeneficiaryAndy
I had a preconception of turning up for the trip that I had been on.
Aprihention and anxious of spending 11 days out of my safe space and comfort zone of my little bubble at home. Was put at ease from minute dot.
The group of lads and the TL had put me at ease because we were all in the same boat.
Story's were shared and experiences that I thought only I had gone through were quickly thrown out the window, as most of the benifieries have/had or are going through the same circumstances as I am.
To be around a group of like minded individuals has opened my eyes to "you are not alone on your journey" and that would never of happened without Vetrun180.
I can honestly say that the purpose and mantra of VetRun180 has and will continue to save lives of our broken and forgotten veterans.
If it doesn't challenge you , it "most certainly" won't change you.
And this was proved and tested on many occasions over the 11 days, all for the better.
So a personal thank you to the TL and the rest of the guys and VetRun180.
Jay.Jay - VetRun180 - Beneficiary - Portugal 07/23
The expedition was a great chance to not only vary my physical rehabilitation, but spend some time around other veterans for a while. It was a sort of ‘release valve’ from the mundane day-to-day life of civvy street. It was great to be working as a team again, with lads that I’d only just met days before. And seeing them approach all the problems we encountered with the enthusiasm and positivity that they used to have.Joe H - Royal Marines
When I first told a work colleague that I was thinking about applying for the VetRun Sweden expedition, I was extremely apprehensive to go as I had just started a new job and was settling into a new routine. However, they were able to convince me to apply and I am so glad that I did.
The VetRun Sweden expedition challenged me to overcome my self doubt. It was through the immense challenges that we faced each day that allowed me to see what I am capable of achieving. At the end of each day, due to the ground we covered and the physical and mental obstacles we all faced, I felt an enormous sense of achievement. When we parked up for the last time for our final group photo, I was filled with mixed emotions as the trip had come to an end.
The Sweden trip has reinvigorated my self worth and improved my confidence through the challenges we faced as a team to reach the finish line. This trip superseded all of my expectations. I urge anyone to give these expeditions a go. It really does work.
I will forever be thankful for the hard work of the Team Leaders Ross and Joe, our guide Thomas and equally the other beneficiaries on the trip. Their endless support, banter and morale filled dits helped me get to the end of this once in a lifetime experience.
Matt - VetRun180 - BeneficiaryMatt
Took me a little while to calm down and reflect on the trip , still processing the magnitude of information from the experience, certainly has been the most fun , emotional and overwhelming journey experience of my life , spiritually and mentally both on a superficial and on a deeper level that as time goes by the finer details are emerging from the effort that was made by , Ross , mack , Ben , Thomas and the rest of the men and women involved.
I'm finding it hard to put it into words the gratitude I'm feeling right now but I just want you all to know how much this has meant to me and the positive effects it had already had in my outlook towards my attitude and life in general , iv had problems with a lot of things mh , alcohol , anger etc you know the score but I feel purged from it all and happy that the "180" has been for me very effective.
Thank you to the charity for changing lives not only the direct participants but the wider effected also friends family etc
I love you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Drew - VetRun180 - Beneficiary
If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you!Drew - VetRun180 - Beneficiary - Sweden 02/23
I have come home with a sense of achievement, totally knackered, but with a clear head and a feeling of belonging. Whilst the driving is challenging, at times hard graft and very enjoyable, it is the evenings, sat around a fire or under an awning chewing the fat with people who get you that also really helps.Ross-Royal Signals
We arrived at the airport and I already felt like I was somewhere I belonged again, unrestrained in my comments, listened too & valued, then the group got bigger and better and before I knew it the team had fully assembled and the trip to Luleä in the Swedish Lapland began.
Arriving at the hotel late in the evening, it was a case of, head down see ya in the AM.
Breakfast done & onto the transport that took us out to the edge of the frozen Bothnian Sea. We met our guide that would take us to the Artic Circle. He can only be described as the Swedish Austin Powers, a truly amazing person & cue 6 days of pure entertainment, “Do I make you horny baby..do I? etc rained out across the terrain (I laughed so much on this trip I almost regained a six pack!).
The challenge itself was so hard at times, such low temps coupled my knee & back injuries was tough. 6-7 hours a day, through snowstorms & forests!
No matter how hard it got or any incidents that we encountered with people falling off in 5ft of snow, snowmobiles getting stuck, collecting water, cooking meals, making fires to keep us warm every night.
Despite all this the one thing that not one single person on the trip has lost is the ability to come together when needed, build a lifelong bond, help, support and listen when it’s needed.
The most amazing group of people who, have the most challenging physical & mental life changing injuries, who just got on with it.
I achieved more personally from spending the most challenging and rewarding 6 days in Swedish Lapland with Ross, Ben, Mac, Billy, Sam, Pez, Johnny & Lee than I have for many years, I left feeling rejuvenated and ready to challenge myself again in the world and life I live in and for that I will be eternally grateful to VetRun180.Andy - VetRun180 - Beneficiary
I had heard of Vetrun180 on quite a few occasions, Ross Turner one of the Team leaders was my Section Commander in basic training and we stayed in touch.
I’d seen he had been a part of quite a few expeditions in the past that looked amazing, after catching up with him on the phone one morning and chatting about things that only people who have served can relate to he said that I qualified to go on an expedition and said why don’t you apply. I did and after speaking to another Team Leader from the charity I was asked if I would like to go go on a trip with VetRun180.
It sounded like the trip of a lifetime “Ski-mobiling around the Arctic Circle “ I really couldn’t turn it down!
I joined the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards in September 2005 and It was always my intention to serve my full 22 years but unfortunately in 2010 whilst serving in Afghanistan, I was hit by an I.E.D and this lead to my medical discharge in 2013.
I don’t want to come across as selfish but I really needed this trip and I know that Sweden will be one of the best adventures I ever got to be part of.
How many people can say they’ve snowmobiled around the arctic circle, been ice finishing, seen and ate Reindeer and witnessed the Northern Lights!
Also this trip wouldn’t have been the same without the blokes, apart from Ross I’d never met the other lads on this trip, we all had our own personal reasons for being there, some physically and some mentally but we were all there for the same reason. A strong brotherhood was formed in just 7 days and the banter was on a different level.
I’d like to thank every single one of them for listening, sharing stories and making memories of a lifetime.
BIG BIG THANK YOU TO VETRUN180, from the Trustees, the Team Leaders and all the people behind the scenes to make this work and who help so many veterans on different trips around the world.Billy - VetRun180 - Beneficiary