Why do we need your support?
A recent Ministry of Defence (MoD) report (UK Service personnel medical discharges) states that in the last five years alone, nearly 12,000 Service personnel were medically discharged as a result of physical injuries, natural illnesses and an ever increasing number of mental health related illnesses. These numbers are still high despite withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan and this figure does not include veterans from previous conflicts.
We recognise that there are too many current and ex-military personnel who are falling into a trap of social isolation, as upon medical discharge they are discarding not only their employment but also accommodation and the camaraderie of Service life.
Who are we
On Course Foundation (OCF) continues to respond to a real need for positive provision for wounded, injured and sick (WIS) Service personnel and veterans – supporting their recovery and successful transition to civilian life through nationwide confidence building golf events and opportunities for employment in the golf industry.
Led by our small but dedicated team, our programme of golf activities aims to prevent these deserving individuals from failing to re-integrate into society, restoring self-confidence and providing a sense of purpose and achievement to those who once struggled to see hope in their future.
Because of the handicap system, golf offers a unique platform where players of all skills and capabilities can compete on a level playing field, improving not only their physical, but mental strength too. In our ten years of operation we have seen first-hand that participation in golf can have a profound effect on the mental health and well being of our beneficiaries.
Our response to Covid-19
As a result of the current pandemic and government guidelines, our confidence building events have been postponed until further notice. Unfortunately, the individuals that we work with were already vulnerable before this outbreak, as a result of physical injuries, natural illnesses and an ever increasing number of mental health related illnesses.
Although working remotely, our staff are continuing to support these deserving individuals during this period of uncertainty, working remotely to deliver on-going activities and encouragement. Whilst our fundraising and outside group activities have had to be curtailed, we hall adapt and innovate and are very much ''in business'' to continue to deliver the vital services that the charity provides.
The majority of our annual income comes from the 'golfing family' but due to the current situation, fundraising days have either been cancelled or postponed until 2021. As a result it is estimated that we will lose £100,000 of revenue during this period. Funding that we receive through the Aviva Community Fund is greatly appreciated and would allow us to continue to support our beneficiaries in the immediate future and will assist with the financial stability of the Foundation moving forward.
An example of current activities
- Bi-weekly, interactive online tuition on YouTube live - On Course Foundation LIVE Tuition, with Richard Harrison
- Virtual 'taster' sessions for new beneficiaries, working in conjunction with the nationwide Personnel Recovery Centres
- Virtual Q&A's (example below) - LIVE Q&A with beneficiary and golf professional, Mike Browne
- Daily virtual 'visitor' sessions
- Bi-weekly virtual 'coffee mornings' with special guests, including Tommy Fleetwood
- Golf specific home training drills (example below) - Putting practice at home, with Mike Browne
- Online exercise programmes with qualified PT - Mobility in golf, with Gregg Stevenson
- Weekly quizzes, including golf rules
- Research on long-term sustainable funding
- General on-going daily administration
Why should you support us? - Meet Nick
Nick Franklin served in the 1st Battalion Princess of Wales Royal Regiment for six years before he was medically discharged as a consequence of serious injury that he suffered whilst serving in Afghanistan. His injury came as a result of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast which subsequently led to the amputation of his left leg below the knee.
Before this incident, Nick had enjoyed his service as a Private in the military, originally seeing it as a career, in his words 'to change my life and challenge myself'. After injury Nick began to struggle at work and at home which also affected his family life.
''With the help of the PGA coaches, the staff and my fellow beneficiaries I have improved my golf game and have become a better person by being more confident and a lot happier - my mental health has improved so much.
Going away on the three day events with On Course Foundation has helped saved my marriage as my wife and I get time to ourselves. She mentioned that she noticed a much better attitude in me. Thank you to On Course Foundation for their on-going support in helping me improve my golf game but more importantly, improving my mental health."
Plans for Development (2021 and beyond)
- Expanding our activities throughout Scotland over the next three years and increasing the number of beneficiaries, particularly those in more isolated areas.
- Delivering Educational Insight Days in conjunction with various golf authorities and organisations, such as the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) and the British and International Golf Greenkeeper's Association (BIGGA).
- Creating a 'scholarship scheme', funding industry based training courses and accredited qualifications for interested beneficiaries.
- Appointing part-time staff in the North and South of the UK - raising awareness, recruiting further beneficiaries and sourcing employment opportunities.
- Implementing the Outcomes Measurement Framework as a new method to quantitatively measure the effectiveness of our programme.
Thank you for your support.