Dame Kelly Holmes Trust joins Beachley Old Boys Association (BOBA) in promoting an alternative future use of the Beachley Camp in Gloucestershire.

BOBA has been preparing for when the current regular Army battalion leaves Beachley Camp. An exact date has not yet been set but the Ministry of Defence has announced it will be by 2027. Ben Hilton, Chief Executive Officer of the Trust, believes the charitable objectives of the Trust in supporting young people would be clearly met through this project.

Ben said:

"We will be one of several delivery partners operating at Beachley. Our work on transition from one dedicated lifestyle to a new future is encapsulated by our own athlete transition programme “More than Medals”. We’ll use our understanding and learnings from this to support veterans making their own transition to a different new lifestyle.

Our focus will be threefold: on children and families of Armed Forces veterans, young veterans (up to age 25), and on older veterans themselves transitioning at the end of their career.

It is documented by the Defence Select Committee that families are often overlooked as adults are transitioning from the Armed Forces to civilian life. Dame Kelly Holmes Trust’s young people programmes will offer support and direction to family members as they adjust to a different way of life.

The Trust also recognises the similarities between a veteran’s transition to civilian life, whatever their age when they leave the Armed Forces, and an athlete’s transition from competitive sport and believe we can support. Our programmes and training will not only support them, but also have positive impacts on their family and the wider community.”

The Beachley setting is a special place to work from. With other delivery partners, in a community of mutual support the Beachley setting provides a unique backdrop. The BOBA project is an imaginative, alternative and holistic offer which has a truly collective ethos.  

Chris Ricketts, Chairman of BOBA said:

 “The Trust is an effective organisation. It has made a beneficial impact on thousands of young lives through its mentoring programmes and has supported over 400 athletes in their transition to a life beyond sport. Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes brings particular insights to military culture that the Defence Select Committee acknowledges is often a dimension missing from other service providers who interact with Armed Forces Veterans.  Alongside other delivery partners in the Beachley project we are confident the Trust will make a major contribution to the success of the Project.”

More about Beachley Old Boys Association

Membership of BOBA is open to all who attended the Army Apprentices College (AAC) and before 1966 the Army Apprentices School located at Beachley. The Association was formed in 1939.  The AAC was closed in 1994. BOBA is still based at Beachley and its Heritage Centre at ‘Beachley Gates’, built by the Apprentices, is open to the public. It is located close to the Military Cemetery that is adjacent to the grade 2 listed St Johns church on Beachley Road. The Commonwealth War Grave Commission (CWGC) maintain the cemetery to a high standard. Apprentice Tradesman A/T Thornton is buried there having been the only Apprentice Tradesman killed by enemy fire in November 1940. The Cemetery has a compliment of Italian and German service graves from the First World War 1914-18. Beachley was a prisoner of war camp in WW1 before opening as the Army Technical School in February 1924 transferring from Aldershot where it was formed in September 1923.