Having been off the road for a few weeks getting her side awnings attached, the January storms provided the perfect opportunity to test the additional weather protection on our outreach vehicle.
Excitingly, our first New Year deployments for 2020 also marked our first joint venture with local housing association Radian, as we broke away from large centres of mass and footfall……and put our ‘remote location’ concept through an initial test. The notion behind our mobile capability has always been to bring services to veterans who experience obstacles in accessing support, either through physical or emotional barriers and as such, our vehicle has been uniquely designed for self-sufficiency with on-board IT systems, heating and electricity – allowing us to travel to the most remote of locations across the South West.
Having been approached by Holly Piller, the Community Development Officer for Radian, with a proposal to visit two local housing areas known to have members of the Armed Forces Community amongst its residents, we embarked upon a joint venture spanning 2 days in the Salisbury and Amesbury areas. Joined by volunteers from SSAFA, the Defence Medical Welfare Service, Help for Heroes, ‘Serve-on’, Icarus online and the Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club Community, we were delighted to welcome on board a number of veterans as well as members of the serving community and general public.
Promoting and raising awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant is at the centre of our work, but our specific focus in delivering outreach is supporting veterans in need and we were delighted to be able to assist with a variety of complex and diverse issues involving multiple common themes such as, housing, medical support, mental health, pensions, enhanced learning credits, employment, training, carers, isolation and financial support.
Our January deployments once again proved that our mobile outreach service is delivering a tangible effect amongst our veteran community. Look out for us as we continue to travel across the South West region delivering our main objectives.
Inform – To promote awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant.
Engage – To engage with members of the public to better understand the needs of our Forces Community. To engage with our veterans to better understand the services available to them and for us to better understand their areas of need.
Connect – To connect veterans with the appropriate services for their individual needs and provide introductions where necessary.
Support – To provide a listening ear, to assist with resolving issues faced and removing obstacles and barriers to accessing relevant services. To provide enduring support until issues are resolved.
Signpost – To signpost veterans to the relevant services that are appropriate to their needs, to show them how to access these services, where to find them and provide accurate contact information.