Forever Manchester are remembering Greater Manchester’s heroes this VE Day.

7th May is 70 years since Winston Churchill’s famous speech declaring World War II was over and Britain had been victorious, causing people up and down the country to flock to the streets in celebration.

Here at Forever Manchester, we fund a variety of causes. One of the many causes are groups which support veterans.

Former Forces Support is a not for profit Social Enterprise primarily for members of the ex-forces community, established by ex-forces personnel for ex-military personnel and their families who may be unemployed or unable to get employment in the North West.

Former Forces Support engage with members of ex-force’s community, aiming to support them in adapting to and existing within society. The group work to help unemployed ex-service members to build the skills necessary to have the confidence and coping strategies to enter the work force. Funding from Forever Manchester was requested by the group to host a four day course for individuals, using a holistic approach to encourage them to become functioning members of their local community.

The group work with a mentoring and coaching team, training organisation and charities to ensure the Career Development Programme is conducted in line with best practice and that the qualifications, advice and guidance given to ex-service personnel is of the highest quality available.

The Career Development Programme focuses on the unique set of circumstances that unemployed Veterans face when leaving the Military. The obstacles many Veterans face upon leaving the Forces, the general public just don’t face when finding themselves unemployed.

Some of the modules in the Career Development Programme include;
• Transferable Military Skills, CV creation, how and where to look for employment and how to upload a CV to internet job sites and what military history to include.
• Understanding, managing and coping with stress and anxiety related to service.
• Emotional intelligence training and support (how to contain feelings of anger and or feeling down).
• Recognising habit triggers and dependency awareness (drugs/alcohol) and becoming resilient.
• Coping with change and the process of change.
• Interview tips and techniques, workplace etiquette and conflict resolution.

Former Forces Support has a simple and clear objective, to provide training, education and employment for people who have served their country and need help or advice, no matter what their personal situation, disability or health condition, whether they have been out of the Forces for 3 days or 30 years, whether they are long term unemployed or recently made redundant, Former Forces Support will give them the skills, confidence and motivation to gain employment and keep employment.

Forever Manchester recently funded a series of courses which will offer an holistic approach to ex-service personnel in the Manchester area, some of whom are suffering from substance misuse issues and/or minor mental health issues. It will be tailored to the groups need. The aim is to give the service user the confidence and motivation to become a functioning member of their local community.

According to Former Forces Support: “After accessing our Programme, our service users will be in a better place both mentally and emotionally. They will have the confidence, skills and motivation to become a valuable member of the local community. It will give them a pathway for future learning, volunteering, training and employment. Advice will be given on how they can access any help from local organisations including Manchester Council, DWP, Addaction and Service Charities to help them continue their journey after the programme has finished.

“Learners will be introduced to the concept of problem recognition and solving. We will help develop skills to enable them to tackle problems they may encounter in everyday life, whether it be an employment problem or emotional issues. We want to harness every opportunity to promote healthier lifestyles, wellbeing, overcome barriers and change attitudes and behaviours for health and a happier life.

“Veterans may leave the Military with many complex issues and alcohol and drugs may appear with their problems. That’s why we are working hard to offer support that understands the concerns and experiences of people who have served in the Army, Navy or Air Force. We’re determined to support their families too by giving the veteran the tools to recognise an issue before it becomes an unavoidable problem.

“By taking a holistic approach, we hope to ensure that our Veterans get the care, advice and the support they deserve and need. The project will also better prepare them mentally to be able to cope with their re-introduction or if they have been out of service for a number of years, how to interact with their surrounding environment differently. Our society may have changed in the intervening years of their service, they themselves may have changed beyond recognition, however we want give them the emotional skills and confidence to make the journey as easy, enjoyable and as fulfilling as possible.”

Former Forces Support is a great group that addresses an often quiet and unknown issue within the communities of Greater Manchester. Former Forces Support help people who have fought for their country and put their lives on the line get back on their feet after the trauma of experiences they have had in the Military.

If you’ve been affected by a similar situation, why not DONATE TODAY and help us to fund more groups like Former Forces Support across Greater Manchester today.