Breaking Ground Heritage


Breaking Ground Heritage was developed to work alongside Operation Nightingale to deliver positive outcomes for projects that utilise heritage and archaeology as a recovery pathway.

Founded by an Ex-Royal Marine, who had himself been through the Operation Nightingale project and witnessed first-hand the benefits that participating in projects of this kind of project can bring. These profound experiences are what have driven Breaking Ground Heritage to excel and deliver the best projects possible for its beneficiaries.

Since our conception in 2015, we have evolved into a project that is at the forefront of the promotion of wellbeing projects in the heritage sector, leading by example and sharing our results annually in conferences, reports and presentations. 

Educational Pathways

Breaking Ground Heritage have partnered with several academic institutions around the UK to assist our beneficiaries who would like to explore University level education.

Some of our partners are even offering free degree places to WIS veterans. If this is something that you are interested in then please contact us.

Employability Pathways

All Breaking Ground Heritage projects have personal skills development as a fundamental core objective for participants. We work alongside Commercial Archaeological Units in all of our projects which gives beneficiaries exposure to the real world of commercial archaeology and enables them to build a network of key contacts in archaeology.

Social Inclusion and Peer Support Newtorks

Being the member of the armed forces builds a personal identity that is very hard to overcome. No matter how long since we have left service and for whatever reason we still cling onto this identity with our insistence that we are veterans.

This has been a very important factor in the understanding of how projects like ours actually work and how we can best support our beneficiaries moving forward in life.  

Peer support works by buddying newer members with those that have been on several other projects to help mentor them in the archaeological sense and also help integrate them into the Breaking Ground Heritage community.

Our participants have a wealth of life experience and many are further down the road then others in the personal journeys that we all must take in life. This BGH community thus enables our beneficiaries to develop support networks that are able to help them in their time of need by giving advice or just being there to listen.


In 2018 Breaking Ground Heritage’s Psychology team developed a research programme to try and determine if the work that we are doing was of any actual benefit to our beneficiaries. Using psychology scale and wellbeing measures we have been able to look at the levels of anxiety, depression and general wellbeing of beneficiaries in the two weeks prior to coming onto projects. We then survey the participants again on the final day of the project.

In addition, we have been looking at the feelings of Isolation and self-worth of beneficiaries, as recent research suggests that these last two factors can be key factors in suicide.  

The 2018 results have shown clearly that Breaking Ground Heritage projects have had a positive affect on beneficiaries so the next task is to understand exactly why this is! 

Read the published article HERE


Breaking Ground Heritage relies on the donations of the general public to do this hard work. All of our staff are volunteers so every single penny that we receive gets put into the delivery of projects and the support of our veteran and serving community. Any amount is greatly appreciated.  

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