We are implementing the Forces4Change Charter to deliver personalised positive outcomes to the internal and local veterans communities. At the Launch on 20 April 2018 our Chief Executive, Sue Harriman, herself a veteran of 16 years in the Royal Navy, we affirmed our commitment to the Charter and to delivering real value to the veterans who work in the Trust and also to working with the wider local veterans community.
So, what are we doing to deliver such positive, personal value?
Internal Veterans Network: Under the Chair of David Noyes, also ex Royal Navy, and now Solent Chief Operating Officer, we have set up a Veterans Network. The inaugural meeting on 20 April was attended by 24 people, with many more expressing an interest in being involved. The IVN is planning to offer the following support.:
Community Network: We will be reaching out to the broader, local veteran’s organisations and community to create a broader Community Network in support of the values and aims of the Trust. We are currently in contact with the Veterans Outreach Service, the Association of Drop-In Centres (ASDIC) and The Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club and the Regular Forces Employment Association.
The broader community approach is also seeking to improve the engagement of veterans who would benefit from improved access to Solent services.
Continuous Professional Development: We have committed to pilot the training being developed by ExForcesNet in support of the veterans community. Under the Charter, there is a curriculum of training which is seeking CPD accreditation to provide people with additional and relevant skills to support them in delivering the aims of the Charter.
This training includes:
Under development is also a package of training that will support service leavers in understanding why they are different to their civilian colleagues. This is a piece that has been missing in existing programmes and some level of awareness will support in reducing the impact of culture shock, and support in the management of expectations.
Employment, Placements and Volunteering: We are seeking, not only to support people in getting permanent roles across the business, but also to provide placements for service leavers who are not fully sure of what career path they would like to take. Placements will support an organisation in filling short term gaps of up to 20 weeks while a service leaver is in resettlement leave. The value that the service leaver gets is a toe-dip into a prospective second career, and also, a sound reference should they apply for a role. One of the biggest barriers to success is that they have little or no experience in a particular field.
Further, as our country is defended by volunteer Forces, there is a strong sense of service among our veteran community, and the advertising of volunteer positions in the Trust to the veteran community could provide an additional avenue for individuals.
Academic Evaluation: Forces4Change and Solent NHS Trust will be seeking to evaluate the impact of employment and community support with the assistance of academic institutions.
Sarah Austin, Chief Operating Officer who is leading the veteran support programme said: “We are very proud to be at the leading edge of the development of this new charter. Our intention is to make a real difference to each and every individual we come into contact with. We are looking forward to creating a strong veteran network who can provide peer support to those already in, and those joining, the organisation.”