A Veterans’ Foundation grant is being used to help give ex-servicemen and women the chance to work on one of the most iconic wartime aeroplanes in history – and boost their mental wellbeing at the same time.
Save the Skymaster is a charity with a simple mission; to restore the last Douglas C-54 Skymaster plane to fly in Europe.
And it’s veterans who are given the opportunity to do it, working alongside engineers to bring the US-built aircraft – made famous during WWII and Vietnam - back to its former glories.
This sense of purpose has proven to help veterans struggling with PTSD and also teaches them valuable skills that can then be transferred into the workplace.
Tracey Botha of Save the Skymaster explained how the Veterans’ Foundation grant would be used.
“We will use the grant to put together designated courses on an Introduction to Aviation,” said Tracey. “There will also be life skills training, with an aspect addressing their emotional wellbeing. PTSD Resolution is involved in trauma counselling and will offer specialized sessions in this. We have a dedicated team of licensed engineers who will make sure that the training is 100% and hands-on.”
“The Veterans’ Foundation grant is so important to Save the Skymaster as it enables us to reach out to veterans in a tangible way.
“It gives us the unique opportunity to train them on a propliner- a legend of an aircraft, namely, the Skymaster 56498. In the past, our Skymaster was always there for the vulnerable and this grant means that again, we are empowered to be that beacon of hope to those in need.”
“Save the Skymaster is so very grateful to the Veterans’ Foundation for this grant and we would like to thank the foundation most sincerely for their generosity.
“No stone will be left unturned in our endeavours to deliver a high-quality training course to veterans, whilst ensuring that it is holistic in nature. The grant effectively equips us with the very hope that this aircraft has stood for over the decades – always there for the vulnerable.
“Thank you to the Veterans’ Foundation, to all who donate to it and to those who play the Veterans’ Lottery.”