New therapy service for military veterans comes to Norfolk

Tony Wymer, head of operations and therapy at Veterans at Ease, outside the new Dereham shop

Tony Wymer, head of operations and therapy at Veterans at Ease, outside the new Dereham shop - Credit: Archant

A charity providing crucial therapy to military veterans has extended its activities to Norfolk. 

Veterans at Ease (VAE) is offering psychotherapy to those in the county who have served in the armed forces. 

It is also opening a number of shops to help fund its services, and the first - in Dereham High Street - has already begun welcoming customers.

The new Veterans at Ease shop in Dereham High Street

The new Veterans at Ease shop in Dereham High Street - Credit: Archant

Further stores are due to open soon in King's Lynn and Norwich. 

VAE was originally launched in the north east by a soldier who suffered from the brutal effects of PTSD following the Bosnian War. 

But, after benefitting from therapy, he retrained and created a new service to help others in a similar situation.  

Now, having been active for more than a decade, the charity is branching out and has established its Dereham base courtesy of Tony Wymer, head of operations and therapy. 

"I wanted to take things beyond the north east and bring us down here," said Mr Wymer, who hails from Norfolk.  

Tony Wymer, who hails from Norfolk, is himself a beneficiary of Veterans at Ease

Tony Wymer, who hails from Norfolk, is himself a beneficiary of Veterans at Ease - Credit: Archant

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"This area is, of course, very rural and holds a lot of ex-forces people. We've got Robertson Barracks down the road in Swanton Morley. 

"There are a lot of people out there who may not know they need this assistance. To begin with, it is about getting the word out there and getting these people through the door.

"Our therapy is very much about what works for each individual person. It is free and takes as long as it takes - that is dependent on you."

Mr Wymer is himself a beneficiary of the brilliant service offered by VAE.

After leaving the army, he found a job which paid £50,000, had a company car and "everything was going well".

Rosemary Bennett (left) and assistant manager Pam Madden, shop staff at Veterans at Ease in Dereham

Rosemary Bennett (left) and assistant manager Pam Madden, shop staff at Veterans at Ease in Dereham - Credit: Archant

But very suddenly, things changed. 

"Something happened which was a big trigger and it made my life take a massive tumble," added the 50-year-old. 

"For two years I was basically away with the fairies, but I was taken to VAE and the rest is history. A few years down the line I am still here as a psychotherapist who is giving their best to those who come and see me. 

"For me, it is all about giving a bit back. It is a total honour and a privilege."

Those in need of help can call VAE on 0191 249 9944 or Mr Wymer on 07878941286. Alternatively, visit the Dereham shop.