AT the top of Garelochhead, there lies a building which could be more than just a railway station – if a charity’s wishes come true.

It could be a haven for those still wounded by the battles they fought during their time with the armed services.

The Garelochhead Station Trust is aiming to do exactly that, with a range of services already offered, and the ultimate goal being to inherit the building at the village’s railway station.

READ MORE: Plans unveiled for veterans' hub at Garelochhead station

Addressing Helensburgh and Lomond’s community planning group at the Gibson Hall in the village, where the trust holds many of its current events, project co-ordinator Morevain Martin outlined the goals.

She said: “Some of you may know that I used to work for Argyll and Bute Third Sector Interface. Last summer, towards the autumn, we were approached by the Kilmarnock Station Trust to see if anybody was interested in doing anything with three active, but empty, railway stations, one of which was Garelochhead.

“We held three community consultation events and those were really successful, but what came out of it was that all or most of the people expressing an interest were either veterans or spouses of supported veterans.

“The station is in a beautiful setting with amazing views. I was up there talking to the people that were on a train which stood for half an hour and they said the station building was gorgeous but had nothing in it.

“They would love to see something there so that when the train is stood for that length of time, they can actually do things.

“Kilmarnock is an example of a community taking over a station and doing things with it. You can jump off the train and go for a vegan meal or to a sewing group.

“I was really surprised when I started the needs analysis. With Garelochhead being the closest village to the base, you would assume a range of services would be delivered. Not so.

“If you are a veteran and live in the Rosneath peninsula, and you want to talk to other veterans, you have to go to Dumbarton Central station.

“And if you want to go to the British Legion, you have to jump on two buses to Clydebank, or three buses to Paisley.

“If you are a veteran from Kilcreggan, that costs a small fortune.”

READ MORE: Trust chief sheds more light on Garelochhead station plans

The Trust’s ambitions are partly driven by some upsetting figures published by the House of Commons defence select committee.

A report revealed that 71 serving personnel or veterans took their own lives in 2018.

Work continues relentlessly to reduce that figure, and Morevain revealed that the number of people wanting to train to assist such affected people has led to workshops being fully booked.

READ MORE: Military 'co-working' hub to open in Helensburgh

She added: “We have negotiated with the NHS, who are now delivering an ASIST [Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training] course, which is being delivered in July.

“I had to close the book on making bookings for this at the beginning of May, because so many people are aware and wanted to do the training.

“We provide a one-to-one service and I have 15 people with a whole breadth of issues with being veterans or families of veterans.

“There is also a qualified medical practitioner who will start delivering meditation sessions in June.

“Mindfulness is looking at what your triggers are for stress, and working out relaxation techniques.

“The feedback blew the tutor away – people were saying that it changed their lives.”