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

Throughout the week being in a vehicle for numerous hours and doubling up with people you get to chat about various scenarios and other people’s experiences are similar to yours at times, and lets you share your stories too.
On a whole the trip was very enjoyable, and at times some of the driving was demanding, down to weather conditions being wet, but not too demanding. I personally had a great week away and met some new friends, and since I’ve been back home it’s made me more focused and look at life in a more positive way, with the help of people I’ve met and the experience during the week at Vetrun180.

Jason-Mercians

Before I was invited on the expedition, I had lost all hope of ever getting my head right and found myself just wanting it to end. Now after going through this experience and realising that I’m most definitely not on my own and just talking with lads at night around a fire has given me the mental strength and a new lease of life to want to go ahead with some therapy. Not just for me but my family as well so we can grow stronger.

Danny - The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment

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

I have attended 2 Vetrun expeditions, which have been excellent and very well organised. After being inured in Afghanistan they have given me a sense of community, which I know that I contact at anytime if I’m in need. The expeditions have given me a confidence and sense of well being that I haven’t had since leaving the military, this confidence has transferred over to my home and work life and has made a massive difference to me and my family. Overall I would recommend Vetrun to any Veteran who wants a brilliant support network whilst undertaking challenging, well organised expeditions with great Vetrun staff and veterans. I can say without doubt that Vetrun has changed my life for the better after struggling with being discharged from the Royal Marines.

Joe - Royal Marines

I was medically discharged from the Royal Marines. At the same time, I experienced a number of life changes and was struggling to envisage what the future would hold. I was lacking both purpose and challenge in my life. I was intrigued when I received an email about Vetrun180. I thought to myself “The concept sounds amazing; I should get involved”.

My first two expeditions were off-road expeditions across Scotland. We travelled through Scotland’s picturesque and often imposing highland estates, wild camping along the way.
The following year I was invited to participate in a snowmobiling expedition. Travelling across the frozen Bothnian sea, witnessing the Aurora Borealis, staying in log cabins and learning about the culture of the area are just a few of the highlights.

After these experiences, I fully bought into the concept of Vetrun180 and I have become a team leader. I believe it’s the simple things that make it work - preparing the food, helping one another, sharing a meal around an open fire and chatting during the evenings in a beautiful remote landscape. This bonding and camaraderie can create an environment that many veterans miss in their lives. They feel they can be more open, discuss things they often don’t, relate to those around them, regain a sense of belonging and a level of comfort they often don’t attain in their day-to-day lives. The benefits of this should never be underestimated.

Being involved with Vetrun180 is something I always look forward to. It has increased my level of self-worth when I’ve felt negative and enabled me to feel useful as an integral part of a team again. I’ve gained a sense of purpose and a renewed belief in the fact that life should be lived. It has been a constant, when things are sadly unpredictable.

The charity, its trustees, my fellow team leaders and beneficiaries have often enabled me to regain my smile when life has been particularly tough.

Mack - VetRun180 - Team Leader – Beneficiary

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'm an ex Royal Marine Commando, and years after leaving the military, I suffered with PTSD and I was in a very dark place, luckily I got help but still wasn't 100% and then I herd of VetRun180 through a friend who was involved with VetRun180.

I got invited to go on an off-road expedition from the east coast to the west coast of Scotland. I said I'd go but as the date came closer I nearly cancelled because I started to get very anxious, but as there moto says "if it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you ", so I still went along.

I'm very glad I did because not only did I meet some great people who are also going through some personal challenges, it helped me relax and enjoy what is actually important in life.

Not only did Vetrun180 help me challenge myself, VetRun180 reminded me that being outdoors and outside your comfort zone is a good thing.

Big thank you to Vetrun180 and everyone involved.

Mark - VetRun180 - Beneficiary

Took me a little while to calm down and reflect on the trip , still processing the magnitude of information from the experience, certainly has been the most fun , emotional and overwhelming journey experience of my life , spiritually and mentally both on a superficial and on a deeper level that as time goes by the finer details are emerging from the effort that was made by , Ross , mack , Ben , Thomas and the rest of the men and women involved.

I'm finding it hard to put it into words the gratitude I'm feeling right now but I just want you all to know how much this has meant to me and the positive effects it had already had in my outlook towards my attitude and life in general , iv had problems with a lot of things mh , alcohol , anger etc you know the score but I feel purged from it all and happy that the "180" has been for me very effective.

Thank you to the charity for changing lives not only the direct participants but the wider effected also friends family etc

I love you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Drew - VetRun180 - Beneficiary

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

Drew - VetRun180 - Beneficiary - Sweden 02/23

Vetrun put me in an environment where I was uncomfortable and felt socially isolated and way out of my comfort zone...the pain was bad the headaches hourly I was nauseous and feeling ill...horrendous leap to be involved...however with a bit of trust and my own little efforts and I mean little.

The whole expedition became one amazing opportunity and experience, with each day I had to pinch myself, not just at the driving experience, but of the way I was able to appreciate what was around me. The travel, vehicles and some of the people I was with. Many negative triggers and emotions where flipped into positive emotions. Quite overwhelming in a good way. Very rewarding personally, from the small effort I was giving... I became more confident in the group and also was able to use lost skills in and around the vehicles.

Tim-Light Dragoons