Veterans with health conditions who are supported by leading housing provider Stoll will also be offered employment support from The Poppy Factory through a new partnership launching this week.
The two charities have jointly designed the 12-month pilot project, in which a specialist Employability Consultant will work directly with veterans at Stoll’s supported housing schemes in London.
This new role within The Poppy Factory’s employment support team will be partly based at Stoll’s offices two days a week, helping ex-Forces men and women to build confidence and make progress on their journey towards employment. For the rest of the time, they will be supporting veterans with health conditions across the wider capital.
Working alongside Stoll’s support workers and housing officers, the consultant will be able to identify veterans who might welcome guidance and encouragement around employment. They will also design and deliver support that can tie in with existing skills development, welfare programmes and on-site activities.
Deirdre Mills, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory, said:
“Without a secure home, it is very difficult for anyone to thrive in employment. For the most at-risk in our community, even more so. We are therefore thrilled to launch this new pilot project linking The Poppy Factory’s employment support with Stoll, the UK’s leading provider of supported housing to vulnerable veterans.
“By working closely together and with the veterans themselves, our specialists will enable these men and women to return to meaningful and sustained employment with a new sense of confidence, security and well-being.”
Richard Gammage, Chief Executive of Stoll, said:
“At this time of year as our nation rightly commemorates those who have died in its service and reflects upon the centenary of the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, we should also think about the duty we owe to our veterans. We must continue to strive to do more to improve the lives of those who served and survived.
“This collaboration by Stoll and The Poppy Factory recognises that this has been an immensely challenging year for us all, but that housing and helping veterans remains as important now as it was in 1920. Providing veterans with employment support works to move them towards independent and fulfilling lives.”
The project is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Four out of five of the men and women supported by The Poppy Factory report a mental health condition and most have faced a significant period of unemployment. Many face complex challenges such as social isolation, financial instability, anxiety, stress and uncertainty.
Through close one-to-one support, the charity’s employability consultant will help to build veterans’ confidence, advise on suitable job opportunities and offer support with CVs, job applications, interview preparation and training. Once a job is secured, they will stay in contact, help to identify any workplace adaptations that are needed, and working with employers to ensure the veterans is able to stay in employment.