SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity has created a new animation to promote the benefits of its mentoring service to veterans and their families adjusting to civilian life. The animation features a former serviceman as he navigates civilian life and the difficulties he faces including registering with local agencies, finding employment and suitable housing. He contacts SSAFA and is matched with a mentor who helps guide him to a fulfilling life outside of the military.
Although many service leavers thrive in civilian life, SSAFA is seeing an increase in the number of veterans who are struggling to cope with an increasingly complicated range of challenges. If these concerns are not addressed early, problems around employment, finances, mental health and other issues could escalate to the stage where more drastic intervention may be necessary. These veterans may later re-emerge needing the charity’s support. SSAFA mentoring service looks to address whether this could be avoided by providing early preventative support.
SSAFA mentoring provides one-to-one support for service leavers and their families during the pivotal transition back to Civvy Street. SSAFA mentors help with practical and emotional support, assisting with decision making, supporting career decisions and offering independent and confidential advice. This includes help paying bills and accessing a GP or dentist, which it’s possible a new service leaver may never have had to do before.
Gary Williams, Head of SSAFA’s Mentoring Service, said: “When a serviceman or woman leaves the military, their entire life changes at once. For the first time they may find themselves without a steady income, access to suitable housing or the support network they have become reliant on during their military service. Last year, SSAFA supported 73,000 people in their hour of need. From what can seem like small requests for help to the bigger, more life-changing asks, SSAFA is there for the Armed Forces community.
“If you, or someone you know would benefit from a SSAFA mentor, please get in touch with our team. We are also looking to recruit new mentors across the country. Becoming a mentor is incredibly rewarding and helps build relationships that can make a real difference. You don’t have to have a military background, but if you have life experience, free time to give and enthusiasm, we would love to hear from you!”
If you or someone you know would like a SSAFA mentor or would like to consider becoming a mentor, get in touch with SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. To find out more, visit www.ssafa.org.uk/mentoring