• Nicholas Harrison

Making friends in isolation! Soldier On! asks people at home to think about who we can help.

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

Having had to cancel all of our activities for this year, now is a really good time to connect with people who run organisations whose people we may be able to support when we start again.

Smaller charities, such as ours who don’t have PR or marketing budgets, can find it hard to connect with other organisations and also show people how what we do can be beneficial to participants who take part in our projects. The ‘lockdown’, however frustrating in many ways, provides us with a wonderful opportunity to reach out to other organisations without having to spend limited funds on travel, coffees and accommodation, which under normal circumstances, is a serious burden for us.

Who do we help?

  • Students and unemployed people who have experienced some form of trauma in their lives or who are disadvantaged by their health, finances or other social reasons to increase their self-esteem and create a plan that will enable them to take the next steps into securing happier, independent and self-sufficient employment*.

  • Employed people who are off work due to health reasons. They may indeed be planning to return to their place of work when ready to do so, but meanwhile, can spend some time with us doing something different, with different people, in a different environment, and have a break from their normal recovery/rehabilitation activities, which can be routine and for many, boring.

What do we do? Uniquely, we fully integrate personal development programmes within heritage-based activities. This is achieved by developing skills that are universally valued by employers as well as exploring the personal attributes and goals of each individual participant. From then on, it is not our intention to do things for our participants, but to create the right circumstances to see an increase in positivity, confidence and their abilities to effect change for themselves.

Why do we do things in this way?

  • The benefits gained by involvement in heritage-based projects have been widely demonstrated, particularly with regards to improving mental health and well-being.

  • A huge number of people are interested in history so what we do is naturally fun and engaging.

  • Heritage projects have the potential to be fully inclusive and, on our projects, important roles are found for all participants regardless of real or perceived limitations.

  • Heritage activities are diverse and allow for the identification and development of many technical skills and personal strengths.

  • Previous participants have enjoyed the feeling of ‘belonging’ gained through the community cohesion seen on projects.

  • Participants learn more about their local history and social barriers are removed.

  • Unemployed participants acquire a valuable and interesting work experience allowing them to stand out from the crowd in the melee of job-seekers.

  • Unlike sporting challenges, often used as part of someone’s rehabilitation, our activities are not about winning or losing, it’s all about engendering a team spirit.

  • As projects come to their end, the personal development aspects ensure participants don’t feel sad, but are energised and equipped with a plan to continue their development after they return home.

Commitment from our participants The majority of people we work with will be ready to think about their futures, motivated to achieve, but unsure how to go about it or what the future looks like. We believe that everyone has an intrinsic desire to realise their authentic capabilities, goals and vision and to fulfil their potentialities. The aim is to see participants become more self-aware and either enrol in further education or return to full, or part-time, or voluntary careers.

What are we trying to achieve with this post?

We are simply asking for your help to connect with organisations who are already connected to people we could help in the future. Remember, we help disadvantaged people who are either entering the world of work for the first time, unemployed or off sick. We therefore need to reach out to charities, businesses, schools, universities, sports clubs, hospitals, government departments, social services, the NHS, the military, civil-service, etc.


  • Share this post on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter – (It’s disheartening to see high numbers of people read posts but don’t click like/share – With no real effort you can improve someone else’s life without even knowing about it).

  • Send this story directly to your contacts who manage, or support, people in the above listed sectors and others you can think of.

  • If we can use this quiet period to forge relationships with as many people as we can, then when we launch our projects again, we will be able to advertise our opportunities to many, many people in need of our help.

Future projects include, an C18th graffiti survey, a Second World War military survey and excavations, continued archaeology projects in Cornwall and Yorkshire, graveyard surveys, memorial surveys, a tank restoration project and more.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please, please, please, now:


Thank you and we hope you are all staying at home and keeping safe!

*For us, employment doesn’t only mean a Monday to Friday 9-5 job, it means people using their capabilities to achieve their chosen goals within education, volunteering, hobbies/personal projects, part or full-time jobs.

TWITTER: @soldieronorg

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/soldieronorg

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