Below is a selection of testimonials from veterans that have attended previous expeditions with VetRun180.  It is always great for us to hear the positive impact our expeditions make to the injured veterans.

Finding VetRun180 has been the best thing to happen to me, the challenges I have overcome and the difference I feel and others see within myself is staggering, I never thought myself capable of achieving what I have during the trip.
Sam - VetRun180 - Beneficiary

Sam

I found out about VetRun180 through a former beneficiary who had been on one of the Sweden trips. I cannot give high enough praise to all the TLs and benefactors for what they have put together. This trip has had such an immediate impact on my mental health, and hopefully will be the catalyst for long term change.
A fantastic trip with an awesome group of individuals. It will challenge you, and if you let it, it will change you!

Mick - VetRun180 - Beneficiary - Portugal 07/23

I found the LANTRA course very useful, and the 1st Aid course is always useful to anyone, and a vital skill to have refreshed periodically. I found the groups of Veterans to be a bunch of guys who truly worked together , mucking in and cracking routines to keep everything on track, it gave us all a sense of purpose and I came away with a nice afterglow , that I had gone out of my comfort zone of Apathy that can often overwhelm me, into a feeling of rekindled self worth. I didn't believe a week driving a 4x4 would give me such a buzz , but its good medicine and the Dits and general camaraderie were priceless. Thank you to all the people behind the scenes that made this trip possible.

Jon-RN

I was fortunate enough to be selected to attend the Portugal phase of the Vetrun 180 4 X 4 expedition from 11th to 22 July 23. I was blown away by the experience and just how much growth and development I personally took away from my time with the Vetrun 180 team, from start to finish. The charity is run by veterans for veterans so from the outset we were all on the same page, and it was a safe and inclusive environment to be in.

Prior to the expedition the team and team leaders met at the LandRover Experience Center in Skipton to practice our offroad driving which included deep water driving and recovery of stranded vehicles using winch and local materials to our best advantage. We then moved on to basic first aid training which gave the team a proper chance to team build and get to know each other.

Ben and several of the team leaders where there throughout and supported all the beneficiaries with any issues or hurdles which arose throughout the 2 days of pre deployment training. In summary the pre deployment training was a great experience getting to know the other team members and refresh old skills prior to the main deployment to Portugal.

The 11-day deployment came and went in the blink of an eye. All anxieties were quickly alleviated by Ben, Sam, Drew, Danny, and Skip Rat aka - Scotty. The driving was challenging at times due to the terrain. Navigation was also tricky due to some of the tracks we were using not being on the map and some on the ground not being on the map, but it all added to the teamwork and partnering of all the team throughout the deployment.

My favourite day was when we hit the deep sand tracks, it was when all 4 vehicles were pushed to their safe limits. I remember driving my vehicle and looking across at the other lads driving their own vehicle and their navigators sat beside them and it was in that moment I saw the whole team come alive and beam and grin and laugh out loud with excitement and determination to keep the vehicles under control and heading in the right direction. I hadn't felt like this for several years and after talking to the lads afterwards, they also felt the same way. It was an amazing day.

Particular thanks go to the UK based back up team, Ross and Ian who were in constant communication's giving advice and support to the team throughout.

Also of note was the calibre of Vehicle team leaders Sam, Scotty, Danny and Drew - They were empathetic and patient throughout our time away. Nothing was too much trouble and they supported and encouraged us to embrace the challenge every single day. They were the reason the team jelled so well.

Finally, my sincere thanks go out to Ben the overall expedition lead, who shouldered the burden of responsibility with skill, tact, and professionalism every step of the way. He gave way above and beyond of himself to ensure each and every one of us had the best experience possible. He worked extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure everything ran with military precision and his pre deployment planning and execution was off the chart accurate.

I had an amazing experience on the Vetrun 180 Portugal expedition. I started withdrawn and pretty closed down. I think that was the same for the other beneficiaries as well however I came away feeling more relaxed and confident to face the challenges of further surgery and difficult engagements with Veterans UK/ War Pension and the AFCS. Again, I feel the rest of the team left invigorated and ready to face the world and whatever it has to throw at them.

I would without doubt recommend Vetrun180 to all injured veterans from all of the armed forces. It is a unique one-of-a-kind charity giving all participant the opportunity of a lifetime and I would say to anyone thinking of reaching out to Ben and the charity to just go for it, you will absolutely love it.

One last person who I would like to thank for making this amazing experience possible is Simon, the charity CEO. Without his input and drive and determination none of the Vetrun 180 expeditions will be possible, so thank you Simon!

My final thoughts are that the Portugal expedition was absolutely amazing. I felt very lucky to share the experience with high calibre individuals who I now call my friends. It was not an easy experience. It is no holiday. But it is not supposed to be, it was challenging in lots of ways. The challenge was what made the rewards all the more satisfying. 

As the charity says in it mission statement: "If It Doesn't Challenge You, It won't Change You!!"

Andy - VetRun180 - Beneficiary - Portugal 07/23

When I was MD from the Royal Marines I felt lost and isolated. Part of me which gave me purpose, the drive to challenge and put myself outside my comfort zone which fuelled my passion for adventure, everything that was instilled within me through training, and the time that I had served was gone.

I am really blessed with amazing pals, a phenomenal wife and family. But you can be amongst all these people you love and love you but still feel lost.
I first heard of Vetrun180 through a friend, he conducted the coast to coast UK, he said it was a life changing, and whenever he talked about it is eyes lit up, he gave me a link for VR180 whom I, with trepidation, but with eagerness, contacted.

l was invited to go on the Sweden trip. I knew it would be a unbelievable experience but yet I was still anxious.

The trip to Sweden was amazing, crossing hundreds of kilometres through the snow-covered wilderness of the Boreal Forest with the chance of spotting wildlife, pristine snow fields, climbing mountains to reach amazing viewpoints and appreciate the Artic silence. Sheer exhilarating days, which prepared you for the hearty meals over fires with unbelievable people whom you just met, where we worked as a team, shared stories, listened to each other and had banter on another level.

A massive thank you to the team on the ground which led and looked after us. Joe, Ross, Thomas and Jonny, your passion & energy are unparalleled, generously sharing your time, caring so deeply about the lads & Vetrun180, stepping up regardless of the personal cost and giving a helping hand when needed.

More importantly I would to express my gratitude to Vetrun180, it’s trustees & all of the people that help behind the scenes for the immeasurably valuable work you do for Veterans which gave me the amazing opportunity to go on the expedition and push myself physically and mentally and putting a smile on my face again.

Phil - VetRun180 - Beneficiary

Phil

I read a newspaper article back in February 2019 about VetRun180. I looked them up online and submitted an interest form.

I was invited to go on an off-roading expedition to Galicia. The trip changed my whole outlook on life in general, I was in a pretty dark place at the time & the time away with like minded people was exactly what I needed.
I am lucky enough to have an amazing family but other than them I didn’t really have any drive or any goals set.

I am now a Team Leader with the charity and have been on vehicle based off-roading trips across Europe and more recently Snowmobiling in Sweden.

I have gained numerous qualifications through VetRun180 in Off-Road driving, Snowmobiling, First Aid and many more.

The concept of “Adventure Therapy” and the motto of “If It Doesn’t Challenge You It Won’t Change You” quite simply just works.

All expeds are led by injured veterans for the benefit of other injured veterans & it is because of this that relationships are forged.

Being placed out of your comfort zone & everyone having to pull in the same direction to be successful provides an unbelievable sense of belonging.

Being back around veterans who all have something in common, in that they are struggling in one way or another, whether that be physically or with their mental health & by working together to achieve what might seem unachievable to some is inspiring.

I owe the charity & the trustees a massive debt of gratitude, without VetRun180 in my life I would be stuck in a rut, plodding on with no sense of purpose, just going from day to day.

If anyone is out there reading this and thinks that they wouldn’t mind doing what we do and getting involved then, DO NOT HESITATE, complete the contact form on the VetRun180.org website and one of us will be in touch.

It might sound a bit of a cliché however, it could just change your whole perception on things, like it has mine and so many other lads and lasses across the UK.

Ross - VetRun180 - Team Leader - Beneficiary

When I first told a work colleague that I was thinking about applying for the VetRun Sweden expedition, I was extremely apprehensive to go as I had just started a new job and was settling into a new routine. However, they were able to convince me to apply and I am so glad that I did.

The VetRun Sweden expedition challenged me to overcome my self doubt. It was through the immense challenges that we faced each day that allowed me to see what I am capable of achieving. At the end of each day, due to the ground we covered and the physical and mental obstacles we all faced, I felt an enormous sense of achievement. When we parked up for the last time for our final group photo, I was filled with mixed emotions as the trip had come to an end.

The Sweden trip has reinvigorated my self worth and improved my confidence through the challenges we faced as a team to reach the finish line. This trip superseded all of my expectations. I urge anyone to give these expeditions a go. It really does work.

I will forever be thankful for the hard work of the Team Leaders Ross and Joe, our guide Thomas and equally the other beneficiaries on the trip. Their endless support, banter and morale filled dits helped me get to the end of this once in a lifetime experience.

Matt - VetRun180 - Beneficiary

Matt

As we arrived at the airport a similar apprehension was in the air, as for myself and the other shadow team leaders hoping to take on more within the Charity in terms of planning and running trips.
The new beneficiaries were soon put at ease by the team leaders and then before you knew it we were landing in Faro.
We were met by Simon and some of the team and in the airport car park we were presented with our fantastic Ford Rangers which over the next few days would be our lifeline as we would be in very remote areas and needed these reliable and very capable machines which enabled us to be self sufficient.

after a few days the team cohesion started to form and we all started to gel into a well oiled machine, tents out all other admin tasks saw every member start to take ownership and simple get stuck in.
The route selection was fantastic and a number of new routes and areas to “challenge you” were found and every person was taken out of their own comfort zone and each day brought its own challenges, we all have different capabilities but we all also have the same mindset to not let our injuries define who we are or more importantly what we can achieve.

For myself personally this was a fantastic trip to focus more on the Team Leader side of the charity and to take a step back each day and be proud of what we have all achieved.

For example on one of the days we found the sunshine and had made good ground we found ourselves with some down time so the team In its entirety went to the local beach and within 2minutes we were all admiring the various beautiful views from the sea and all up to our necks in sea que one of the guys “lads this is the first time I have been in the sea” quite simple put a moment to remember for the individual. “ Spot on Bob “
I cannot wait for the next stage of my VetRun180 journey.

Massive shout out to the TLs and all the supporters as without your support the beneficiaries would not have their life’s changes and in some cases saved their life’s and their families. You cannot put a price on that and VetRun180 is the only place that has the adventure therapy which is proven to go the extra mile.

I am forever grateful to these trips and thrive on seeing the beneficiaries grow day by day.

Lee - VetRun180 - Beneficiary

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you!

Lee F - VetRun180 - Beneficiary - Portugal 06/23

I first heard of Vetrun180 through the Royal Marines network back in 2018. They were looking for applicants for a trip to Oman and I knew nothing more about it than that.

When my application was successful, I spent 10 days driving jeep wranglers through the rub-al-khali desert with 15 other veterans. I didn't know when I applied how much I needed that time away with the blokes.

After the expedition I approached my normal life with a refreshed mind and a more positive attitude. Since then, I have guided a cold weather expedition in Sweden, and then was invited to be a team leader on two Scotland expeditions, driving off road from East to West Coast.

The opportunity not only to be around the blokes as a beneficiary, but to also give back and lead expeditions, has been eye-opening, humbling, exciting and extremely rewarding all at the same time!

Joe - VetRun180 - Team Leader - Beneficiary

I was made aware of Vetrun while undergoing rehabilitation for my injury/illness by one of the rehab team. After speaking to the Vetrun team I got confirmed I’d be on the next trip.

I was lucky to spend 2 days conducting my off-road driving/first aid course at the Land Rover off-road course followed by some immense off road driving through some of the best countryside in the UK (Whitby to Lake District)
I didn’t realise how much I needed the break, sense of adventure and the laugh with the lads and lasses on the trip.

I returned to Rehabilitation with a more positive and upbeat frame of mind.

A big thanks to the Vetrun team members and all the people that make this happen that work behind the scenes. A great charity that certainly has a big impact on the people it aims to help.

Bobby - VetRun180 - Beneficiary

Bobby