The launch of the Remember Veterans project in Warwickshire and West Mercia marks a unique collaboration between the agencies of the criminal justice service and military charities and other organisations providing support to service veterans.
With funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund, the project provides, among other things, a new referral and helpline service, peer support, and help to access training and employment support for anyone who has served for a day or more in any of the United Kingdom’s armed forces.
The Office of the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner provides the project lead and is the accountable body for the project.
The key aims of the project are:
- To develop an exemplar model of a joined up strategy that delivers improvements in the services delivered to offender veterans which can be adopted by other criminal justice areas
- To develop robust identification processes for veterans who have offended at each stage of the criminal justice system, with appropriate and timely information sharing referral routes into other service provision as required
- To develop a structured partnership between criminal justice agencies and the various UK military charities and support sector within West Mercia and Warwickshire, ensuring there is a veterans’ voice at a strategic level within the CJS
- To develop the capacity of service providers and the knowledge and understanding of professionals and practitioners working within them to improve outcomes for service users
- To develop the capacity of the VCSE to engage with and work alongside criminal justice professionals
As someone who has spent more than 25 years with the Territorial Army and as the current chairman of the Warwickshire Army Benevolent Fund, I am all too aware of the difficulties servicemen and women can experience in adjusting to civilian life once their military career has ended. For some it can be a downwards spiral, leaving them both vulnerable to becoming victims of crime and also to becoming an offender. I am delighted therefore that the Remember Veterans initiative has been awarded this funding and that the scheme will be operating in Warwickshire as well as West Mercia. It has the potential to make a very real difference to the lives of our veterans, reducing re-offending and making our communities safer.
– Warwickshire PCC Philip Seccombe
I served two years with the Grenadier Guards, before discharge by Courts Martial, 2001. My transition since has been difficult. I have served a total of six years in custody mainly for drink related offences. I have been homeless, unemployed, and I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.
I moved to Nuneaton with the support of a friend, but I knew I was in danger of relapse.
I got in touch with a Nuneaton veterans’ charity. Through their help the local council prioritised my homelessness application due to prior military service. I have also attended a job interview and been offered a full-time job.
I feel that at last, I am getting help, feeling valued and supported to change. I have taken ownership of my own life again and
remain positive about taking positive steps forward. I know that if things do start to unwind, that I can contact the helpline number and get advice and support to remain on track.
I am in a positive place in my life, I feel confident that I will find work, somewhere to live and want to give something back in recognition of the support I have been given.
Veterans, their families and dependants can access help from Remember Veterans through the following contacts:
- Helpline 02476 348227
- Mobile 07391 237 551
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday to Friday 10:00 to 15:00
Tuesday and Thursday 18:30 to 19:30
For more information about the project, visit: www.remember-veterans.com