Dawn Turner BA- Hons Criminology

FOUNDER  Dawn Turner, a mother of two serving soldiers (One now a Veteran) understands the difficulties the Armed Forces personnel face when adjusting to civilian life. She dedicated most of her adult life in the caring/nursing profession. She holds a B.A. Honours degree in Criminology, specialising in Veteran’s mental health in relation to adjustment disorder. Previous roles within the military charity sector, she offers lots of experience in supporting veterans and their family members in civilian life.

STEPWAY– There every step of the way!

Here to support all veterans in civilian life, no matter their background or circumstance.

Founded in June 2019 and received their CIO charity status in November 2019.


The history behind the name STEPWAY and the 7-Step Civilian Skills Program.

The name STEPWAY came about after much discussion on what the charity should stand for. The name needed to reflect the work that was planned to be done on ground level. Where the Veteran was supported and empowered with no expiry date.

‘We need to be there every step of the way in all areas of dynamic need without limitation to circumstance’.

Originally the name was going to be Severn Stepway, after the River Severn as the charity was founded in Worcester. However, it sounded more like an address, so it was decided to call it simply- STEPWAY.

‘We are there every step of the way, we will support all Veterans in civilian life, no matter their background or circumstance’. This quickly became the charity’s tagline.

Finding a sense of belonging and purpose in civilian life

There are two main things in life that may be missing that have a detrimental effect on mental wellbeing. These are a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose. In most cases these two elements are missing when leaving the armed forces; trying to find a place, purpose and worth in civilian life. This in mind, the Drop-in Centre was opened to promote a ‘sense of belonging’. And later, the outdoor community project.


a) When leaving the army, it is 7 clicks to freedom, 7 clicks on the computer mouse to end your army career. Therefore, the natural order of things was the next stage to be the 7 steps, the Survival kit for Civvy street which leads to Freedom, control and empowerment.

b) When you joined the armed forces, you may be trained to become a soldier but not retrained to become a civilian. This happens often if your armed forces career is cut short through medical discharge or to early service leavers (4 years or less). We have people in their 60’s 70’s still struggling with this aspect of life. We need to reprogram?

c) Decades ago, program appeared in both American and British writing. In the nineteenth century we started to favour the French way of spelling it—programme. However, Program can also function as a verb. It means to reset, regulate to produce a specific result. Hence, the 7-step civilian Skills PROGRAM is exactly that, to retrain, to re-program to make adaption less problematic and in turn, improve mental wellbeing. Therefore, next time when someone asks why STEPWAY? Why the misspelt ‘program’ in the title, you have the answer.

LAST FUN FACT… How many letters are in the word STEPWAY?


We are a registered Charity incorporated Organisation (CIO). To improve your mental wellbeing by providing you with a sense of belonging and purpose in civilian life!