SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity has launched a new trial mentoring service to support service leavers in the transition to civilian life when they leave the Forces.
Working with the Ministry of Defence, Army, and the Career Transition Partnership, the two year trial at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire will supplement the assistance already provided to Service Personnel preparing for civilian life. The service will provide a SSAFA mentor for those who would benefit from additional support in navigating the transition challenge.
While most Service leavers thrive in civilian life, research commissioned by SSAFA (1) identified a ‘forgotten generation’ of working age veterans who were having to cope with an increasingly complicated range of challenges after leaving the Forces.
SSAFA’s research suggests that if these concerns are not addressed, complications around employment, finances, mental health or other issues could escalate to the stage where more drastic intervention may be necessary.
These veterans may later re-emerge needing support from SSAFA and this service looks to address whether this could be avoided by early preventative support.
The SSAFA mentoring scheme already provides such support for Wounded, Injured and Sick (WIS) personnel leaving the services. The trial at Catterick Garrison will widen the eligibility for SSAFA mentoring and will help measure the effectiveness of a mentor for service leavers.
SSAFA has a network of volunteer mentors across the UK who work to motivate, support and empower veterans. Mentors provide both emotional and practical support, ranging from help with writing CVs and securing housing to encouraging new activities and hobbies in a bid to avoid social exclusion.
Sir Andrew Gregory, Chief Executive, SSAFA the Armed Forces charity, said:
“Our research shows that the transition period is a pivotal time for those taking their first steps back into civilian life. I am delighted that we will be working with the Ministry of Defence, Army and Career Transition Partnership to enhance the support already provided for service leavers.
“While SSAFA will always be there for veterans in need, we hope that this trial service will demonstrate the benefits of early intervention that prevents the need from arising. If successful, we would look to roll out the scheme to all Service leavers.”
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said:
“Our Armed Forces community deserve the very best. This trial will allow us to identify where we could do more to support our personnel and their families while transitioning into civilian life, and ensure they continue to lead healthy and successful lives.”
Service leavers in Catterick can apply for a mentor via their Career Transition Partnership (CTP) Employment Advisor, Career Consultant as part of their resettlement provision or directly via SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.
To find out more about mentoring for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, visit www.ssafa.org.uk/mentors
- For more information on SSAFA research ‘The New Frontline’ please visit: ssafa.org.uk/thenewfrontline
Notes to editors
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. Every year our staff and team of volunteers help more than 67,000 people, from Second World War veterans to young men and women who have served in more recent conflicts.