UK

Full-Size Viking Boat Under Construction At Catterick Garrison

Organisers hope to take the Viking boat out to sea once it is fully built.

Wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans are building a full-size Viking boat.

The wooden vessel is under construction at Catterick Garrison in Yorkshire at the base's Help for Heroes centre, Phoenix House. 

More than 70 people have got involved in the build so far, and organisers hope it will help them with their recovery. 

The centre's woodshop manager, Bob Marshall, said: "What we're trying to do is get people back re-engaged, feeling good about themselves.

"Feeling that they can do things and accepting that they can do things that they possibly couldn't imagine that they could do because that is a step forward and allows barriers to be broken down."

One of those benefiting from the scheme is Alun Watkins.

"I used to play rugby a lot, which is a lot of fitness, and when my illness struck that all got taken away from me," Mr Watkins said.

Viking ship being built at Catterick Garrison 030120 CREDIT BFBS
The team working on the ship at Phoneix House Recovery Centre.

"I sat for two years at home, contemplating suicide.

"Since coming here... it gives me a reason to be up every day, it gives me a purpose."

Building a full-size Viking boat is no easy feat, so the team has enlisted the help of local professional boat builder, Mike Holtham.

A huge oak tree was chopped down and transported to the base by tractor so that the building could begin. 

The bow of the boat will have a phoenix, rather than the traditional dragon, in a nod towards Phoenix Housing Recovery Centre. 

The team hopes to take the ship out to sea once it is finally constructed.

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