Forces in the Community manage a drop-in-centre in Beeston, Nottinghamshire offering a holistic approach to providing the assistance and bespoke mentoring that ex-Service personnel and their dependants need following their service life. It is a project, initially co-funded by the Community Covenant, supported by the Broxtowe Borough Council and Chetwynd Barracks (Chilwell), as well as many other charitable and community organisations. The centre has been identified as one of TRBL’s ‘Regional Outreach Offices’ and incorporated in the ‘East Midlands Area Plan’.
Whilst there is a significant amount of support available for veterans, many find it very difficult to access this help, especially those who have left over ten years ago. We support individuals lacking in self-confidence and/or loneliness and provide opportunities for them to engage in activities (photography, gardening, coffee mornings, visits etc). This reduces isolation, raises confidence levels and enables veterans and their family members to become more integrated in the local community.
A veteran entering the centre can access advice from our core staff – a business owner/veteran/SSAFA caseworker and an employment professional (15 years of employment rehabilitation advice) or from a team of volunteers including TRBL and BLESMA caseworkers, rather than having to individually contact many different organisations. Most of the staff have first-hand experience of the transition from military to civilian life. They have themselves overcome the many barriers veterans face or they have lived with the social, emotional and behavioural issues that a poor transition may present for family members.
Our organisation’s current services include:
- a centre that is open five days a week, easily accessible, no prior appointments necessary;
- information, advice and guidance (IAG) on welfare and employment problems, including signposting for specialist advice on housing, addiction, health, debt, alcoholism, crime and domestic violence;
- links to other Forces charities and veteran support agencies to access additional support and/or grants; and
- an informal community focal point where veterans, their spouses or partners can access help and meet others facing similar problems to themselves.
Contact them on telephone number (0115) 9220320 and email address: firstname.lastname@example.org