The Veterans’ Gateway, the first port of call for veterans’ support, has begun a new trial outreach service for those who have served in the armed forces. Supported by £108,000 of funding from the Ministry of Defence, the Veterans’ Gateway will now proactively call ex-service personnel who have been in contact to ask for support.
Under the new initiative, the Gateway will identify the most vulnerable ex-service personnel who have previously contacted its helpline, and trained call handlers will get in touch to make sure they are receiving the support they need. Everyone who contacts the helpline will be asked for their consent to receive calls from the Veterans’ Gateway team, who will be able to provide support and advice, and make referrals where necessary.
Veterans will receive calls from the same advisor and can decide how often they hear from the Gateway, so they are supported in a way that suits their specific needs. This new proactive posture follows the US Marine Corps veterans service, who make six proactive calls for every one that they receive.
Available 24 hours a day, the Veterans’ Gateway signposts ex-forces personnel to the wide range of support available to them, including housing and financial advice, career guidance, and medical care from the NHS. Since being set up in 2017, the Veterans’ Gateway has already received over 20,000 calls, advising ex-forces personnel and their families.
The funding for this new trial was announced by the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson last year, as part of a wider package of support for veterans. This included the creation of the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund – a grant programme where charities will be able to apply for funding from the £10 million awarded to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to support the mental fitness of ex-service personnel.
View the website www.armedforcesmorayandhighland.co.uk