The Ripple Pond was established in 2011 by Julia Molony and Sue Hawkins, both Mothers to physically injured soldiers. They individually reached out in a time when their lives were changing forever and found little in the way of support for the family members of the injured. Realising if they were in this position others would be too, they formed The Ripple Pond.
The Ripple Pond is a self-help support network for the adult family members of physically or emotionally injured service personnel and veterans. It is not a crisis organisation and does not offer therapy. The emphasis is on meeting others in a face-to-face situation (where possible), to give and receive support from those who are walking a similar journey.
The Ripple Pond has avenues of support for members, the main being group meetings. These are kept small in the number of attendees ensuring everyone has the opportunity to share and be heard. There is a ‘buddy’ system whereby new and existing members are put in touch, so regardless of whether there is a meeting in the diary, they can still access one-to-one support. There is also a ‘secret’ facebook page. This is a judgement free area where members can share their stories, celebrate a good day or commiserate after a bad day and ask questions.
The very act of being heard, acknowledged and accepted is hugely cathartic, talking about a situation might not change it but it can help a person to find a way through, and knowing they’re not alone in their struggles can be a huge relief.
The Ripple Pond currently has 19 groups set up across the country with the potential for more. All that is needed to organise a group are more than 2 members wanting to meet and a Group Administrator. The Ripple Pond gained charity status in March 2015 and now has two administrative staff based in the Hub in Aldershot which the award from Wates Giving is supporting.