New volunteering project supports Armed Forces veterans in Dudley

Armed Forces veterans who are struggling to adjust to life after the military are to get support through a new volunteer mentoring project launched by Dudley Council.

National volunteering charity TimeBank will deliver the scheme on behalf of the council’s office of public health.

Veterans can face many challenges in adjusting to civilian life. This may leave some in a state of crisis, dealing with complex problems, such as financial hardship, homelessness, and health issues including depression and anxiety.

TimeBank’s Shoulder to Shoulder project provides regular one-to-one mentoring support to veterans, creating space to chat things through on a regular basis and identify and develop long term goals.

A series of drop-in sessions are to be held across Dudley borough where veterans can get practical advice and talk through any issues they are facing.

Councillor Rachel Harris, chair of Dudley Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “We have a long standing tradition of working with our armed forces and celebrating the work they do. We are also committed to supporting them through difficulties when adjusting to civilian life. By working with TimeBank’s Shoulder to Shoulder project we hope to reach out to our veterans. The new drop in sessions will provide advice and mentoring at a time when they feel they need it.”

Andy Forster, programme manager at TimeBank’s Birmingham office, said: “TimeBank has 14 years' experience of volunteer mentoring projects, so we know how effective mentoring can be to help alleviate stress and isolation. We’re delighted that Dudley Council is funding this project to provide practical support for veterans across the borough to help them make a successful transition into civilian life.”

To find out more take a look at www.timebank.org.uk/shoulder-to-shoulder-dudley or call 0121 236 2531.