2192. Paul Bromwell
Paul Bromwell, from Rhondda Valley, founded ‘Valley Veterans’, a veterans-led charity to support and improve the mental and physical health and wellbeing of veterans through equine and horticultural activities.
Paul is a former Welsh Guardsman and Falkland Islands campaign veteran, and founded the group, based in the Rhondda Valley, 16 years ago. After struggling to return to civilian life, Paul himself received a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 22 years ago. Having received support, Paul established ‘Valley Veterans’ to help others in a similar situation, providing an informal support group for PTSD sufferers who found working with horses helped with their recovery.
Since then, Paul has grown the project into a platform supported by the local council, and hosts regular activities including a weekly breakfast club, tending the memorial garden and daily equine activities, where mentors and partners help participants gain practical skills and experience to combat the challenges resulting from isolation and loneliness. ‘Valley Veterans’ has become a vibrant hub which helps connect veterans with one another while also signposting towards further mental health services and other routes for community support.
Congratulating Paul on his award, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Rt Hon Johnny Mercer MP, said:
“We know that connection and purpose can greatly improve mental health for anyone, but even more so for our veterans.
“Paul’s work to build a network of support, is an amazing example of veteran-led action, to build those connections and support one another as they move forward in life. I am proud to see him today awarded with a Points of Light award.”
Sir Chris Bryant, Paul’s local MP for Rhondda, said:
“Over the past 14 years, Mr. Bromwell has dedicated himself to improving the mental and physical health and well-being of veterans through innovative equine and horticultural activities. What began as an informal support group for PTSD sufferers has evolved under Mr. Bromwell’s leadership into a significant and impactful project.
“The transformative power of working with horses has proven to be a valuable asset in aiding the recovery process for PTSD sufferers within the ‘Valley Veterans’ community. Mr. Bromwell has helped ‘Valley Veterans’ become a recognised and supported platform within the local community. Mr. Bromwell has not only provided a space for veterans to connect with one another but has also served as a crucial link to further mental health services.
“Valley Veterans’ has become a beacon of hope and support for veterans facing the challenges of post-military life. The dedication and passion he has exhibited in leading this initiative are truly commendable, and the positive impact on the lives of those served by ‘Valley Veterans’ is undeniable.”
“Thank you so very much for this wonderful award. I feel very humbled and honoured to receive this from the Prime Minister. I set up ‘Valley Veterans’ 16 years ago to help and support my fellow Veterans and don’t do any of the work for any personal gain or awards, but it is wonderful to receive this recognition. Thank you so much.”
Find out more about ‘Valley Veterans’