Magician helps ex-forces personnel as part of Healthy Horizons scheme

Magic with a military twist came to Richmond last week as part of a free scheme which encourages ex-forces personnel to be more creative.

The Healthy Horizons ‘pop up shed’ had a visit from magic marine Steel Johnson.

The 32-year-old card shark and illusionist who swapped the Royal Marines for magic shared his tricks with scheme members.

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Healthy Horizons aims to improve the physical and mental health of veterans over the age of 65 and ex-military people within Richmondshire who may need support and advice.

The project is part of a three year North Yorkshire wide partnership being delivered by 14 partners – including Richmondshire District Council – and led by Community First Yorkshire. The partnership has secured £1,004,664 funding from the Aged Veterans Fund with Richmondshire receiving £63,866 of it.

The pop up shed is one of the elements of the scheme – based within a local workshop it provides therapeutic sessions in arts and crafts including woodwork, creative writing, photography and painting to improve mental health related issues.

The project entry is free to all participants who live in North Yorkshire, are aged 65 and over and have served in the armed forces, completed National Service conscription, or worked in the Merchant Navy in support of the military at some point.

Referrals to the Healthy Horizons programme can be made by either individuals, friends, family or carers and by health professions or support services by contacting the Healthy Horizons Team on 01748 829100 or

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Steel Johnson can be found at