A local community group which helps to support people’s mental health by getting them out in the open countryside around Staffordshire has had its work recognised by the Queen’s daughter, the Princess Royal, Anne.
Article by Adam Gratton
Director of community interest company, Walk, Talk, Action Teri Elder, who is herself a veteran soldier of the medical corps, was invited to attend a 25th anniversary event for one of the several veteran support services she works with, little knowing at the time who she would meet.
“I work closely with the veteran community and as part of the celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of veteran service Landau, whose service I have used myself, I was asked to attend the event in Telford,” said Teri. “They wanted me to come along and showcase what I would be doing. I had to write a 200-word piece about what Walk, Talk, Action is and does, which was difficult as I wanted to capture everything we do and not miss anything out. But it all must have been ok as on September 28, I was invited along to meet with HRH Princess Anne.”
Teri adds: “It was one of the best experiences ever. She said to me, about the work Walk, Talk, Action does, that she thought it was a fantastic concept and wished me all the best for the future. What was amazing was that I had taken a load of pictures along with me of those who have been involved in Walk, Talk, Action and for about four minutes she stood next to me and looked through all these photos. Meeting her, it really felt that she was giving me the time of day to explain what I do, it was a really humbling experience having her take time to read the 200 words I’d written and to know what I was talking about. An experience I’ll never forget.”
Having dealt with many challenges throughout her own life. Teri has found the strength to use her lived experience to support others who are struggling with issues affecting their mental health. WTA’s core belief is to help support people back to a better state of mind, through walking, talking and taking action. The way Teri and those involved support is by helping community organisations, local businesses and services to work together in order to offer the true support and guidance each individual needs in order to help them back to a ‘happier self’.
The enterprise gives those it supports the opportunity to meet at a set location and chat as they take a walk and combine exercise, friendship, and fresh air to make a difference to people’s lives. For Teri and the rest of the team the hope and vision for the future is to expand on the idea, along with the amount of people from across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire they can help in offering a kind ear to.