The Basha Retreat

The Beginning:

Based in a 18th Century Napoleonic Fort managed by Historic England, We have been lucky enough to be able to utilise some of this fabulous location to build a Respite Centre for Veterans and their families, this is a one of a kind facility that so far has helped hundreds of Veterans.

In February 2018 we were given the go ahead to start work on refurbishment of the casemates that had been allocated to us, and start building the camping facilities. This was achieved by hosting “Build Camps” throughout the summer and into Autumn 2018. The Build Camps were literally just that, we had volunteers from the charity, the local Community in Portsmouth, Veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces all come down to lend their support and man power so that we could be up and running as soon as possible. After a Herculian effort, this was achieved and we were ready to Open in November 2018.

Below is a video from the BBC this was taken the day of the opening Ceremony.

The opening Ceremony was well attended and the Basha Retreat was opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Hamshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq amongst other dignitaries from the Local community, including Stephen Morgan MP and Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP.

Lord Lieutenant, Nigel Atkinson Esq with Forgotten Veterans UK, Founder Gary Weaving on the opening of the Basha Retreat.

Stephen Morgan MP and Lord Mayor of Portsmouth in attendance at the Basha Retreat during the build phase of the project.

After the Opening……

Once the Fort was open for business, the need for such a facility was proven very early on. In fact, even during the build of the retreat it was quite obvious that the respite and services that would be available would be invaluable. Since opening in November 2018 we have run 1 or 2 camps per month, hosting upto 50 or 60 Veterans over the course of a 3-4 day period. That will most likely increase as things progress.

What to expect

The retreat is open to Veterans and their familes, regardless of physical or mental disability. We encourage both those that need a break and some like minded Company, to come and make use of the services that are on offer alongside those that just want to come and help and enjoy the cameraderie that is always present. This works to everyones advantage and strongly adheres to the Armed Forces Buddy System that all those who have served will have been used to.

Once in attendance at a retreat camp, you will be allocated your own tent in our Camping area, this will either have been put up by one of our amazing volunteers or you yourself can have a go. If required, a sleeping bag, camp bed will be issued also. The retreat is equipped from the point of view that those coming to use the facilities may not have any of the kit required, so we have everything that a person might need. Similar to the Armed Forces kit issue.

Depending on what needs to be done around the camp, and given that it is an 18th Century Fort there is usually always something that needs fixing, tidying, building etc. So, if you are up for it there is work to be done. If not, there is tea to drink, friends to make and also services to make use of. That entirely depends on an individuals circumstances, and will be detailed further on. Generally though, it is hoped that folks will get stuck in with the daily chores of running a camp, and of course the main thing is being in a calm and relaxing environment where you can focus on any issues or unwind and relax so that you can focus and be ready to deal with any issues with the help of our team.

Just some of the work that wnet on to build the camp. Alway more to do, of you want to get involved.

This was taken at the end of one of the build camps. Nearly 200 people took part over various camps to get the retreat up and running. We are foreve thankful to them fo rtheir hard work and generosity.

What is available……………

Apart from a great place to unwind, de-stress and get your focus back. The Basha Retreat also offers the following:

Emergency RespiteAccess to Addiction Services
Retreat CanpsForm filling (Benefits etc)
Care PlansHolistic Therapies
Access to Mental Health ServicesHobby Clubs
CV Writing Skills Development
Careers Advice Housing Advice

The following are also available:

Hardship payment
Travel Only,
Free meals for the
duration of the camp
Camping Kit issue Transport to
On-Site Shop

So, what are you witing for? If you are a Veteran that needs to get away from it all, maybe you need to access some services that have proven troublesome and you could do with some help. Contact Us today and make arrangements to come down. We are available 24/7 in Emergency situations and can host people at very short notice. Maybe this would suit someone that you know? Please spread the word.

Basha Retreat Upcoming Camps….