THE power of manual bookbinding to help health and wellbeing is being used by a charity to aid injured and sick veterans in their recovery.

Bound by Veterans, previously known as The Wiltshire Barn Project, has been given a £1,000 boost from the community foundation set up by Barratt David Wilson Homes, which means it can now launch an online version of the course.

Chairman of the charity Alison Strachan said: “Online courses are sometimes preferable to veterans who find getting out of the house physically or psychologically difficult and as our workshop is quite rural, travel can also be an obstacle.

“Despite being at home, there has been a great sense of community and camaraderie between the veterans on-screen, who have enjoyed making books and come away from the session with a sense of achievement.”

She explained: “The courses also contribute to City & Guilds qualifications, so taking part means they’re able to achieve internationally recognised vocational qualifications.

“It’s extremely difficult to raise the money we need which is why we’re so grateful to have received this donation from Barratt David Wilson Homes – it has meant we’ve been able to buy materials and tools for the courses, as well cover the courier costs when we deliver and collect the tool kits.”

Ex-serviceman George Oatley has benefitted.

He said: “The course has made a massive difference to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

"I led an extremely active life when I was in the army and I enjoyed adventurous activities including canoeing, sky diving, distance running, cycling, field hockey and surfing.

“Many charities and organisation help soldiers and veterans continue to enjoy activities such as these which is great, however, there isn’t much out there for someone like me who has a heart condition and for whom these activities are no longer an option.

“Getting into bookbinding has given me an outlet to take on new challenges and do something that feels rewarding,” he said. “I did the first course online at home which meant I didn’t have the pressure of travelling. Bound by Veterans sent supplies to my house and the support they’ve given me has been fantastic. In fact I enjoyed the course so much I’ve enrolled onto another one, this time making photo albums to expand my knowledge and craft skills.”

Louise Ware, sales director at Barratt David Wilson Homes South West, added: “We understand how reliant charities like Bound by Veterans are for funding. As the country’s largest housebuilder, we are committed to creating positive legacies in the areas where we build. It was a pleasure to make this donation which we know will make a huge difference to ex-service personnel like George."

Bound by Veterans will be the Wessex Country Fair at Wilton House on August 6, selling notebooks and stationery made by veterans to raise funds.