Woody's Lodge opens

By GEM Staff Reporter in Local People

Woody’s Lodge, a centre for providing veterans of both Armed and emergency services with access to charities, advice, counselling and a place to socialise with other veterans has opened its doors to the public.

The lodge is currently based on the grounds of HMS Cambria in Sully. It has a ground breaking and visionary ethos developed and brought to fruition by a group of local residents, and led by Dr David Trotman who spearheaded the successful Penarth Pier Pavilion transformation.

Attendees from all over South Wales are welcome to visit with no commitment via referral or direct contact through the website www.woodyslodge.co.uk.

It’s motto is ‘Giving Space and Time’ and the idea is simple – a place under one roof, where veterans of any age or background from the Vale or Cardiff can meet and connect with the help they require, be it social, mental or practical.

Woody’s Lodge commemorates Penarth born and bred Royal Marine and Special Boat Service member, Paul ‘Woody’ Woodland who lost his life in 2012 on a training exercise prior to returning to Afghanistan.

His fiancée, Sian has campaigned tirelessly in his memory since his death, and has raised thousands of pounds for related charities.

She has been a driving force behind Woody’s Lodge, alongside Russ Kitely, a RAF veteran, who has had this project as a vision for 12 years. The last 18 months has been a whirlwind of extremely hard work, enthusiasm and dedication encompassing countless volunteer hours from the seven members of the Woody’s Lodge Board.

Chairman of Woody’s Lodge and Army veteran of 26 years, Noel Godfrey has said: “Without the hard work of a dedicated band of veterans, civilians and men and women of all ages, along with encouragement from our supporters, we could not have realised this dream.

“After 12 years in the making, we can now provide a special, unique, quiet and safe space for veterans to meet with support agencies and have the opportunity to socialise at the same time.”

The project would not have been possible without the support of the staff of the Royal Navy at HMS Cambria and generosity of local businesses.

Woody’s Lodge is soon expected to attain charity status. https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Woodyslodge

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