Veterans Voices, Shropshire, awarded Armed Forces Covenant Small Grant

YSS are delighted to announce that they have been awarded £20,000 from the Armed Forces Covenant Small Grants to develop a pilot project, Veterans Voices,   in Shropshire. The project will start in May 2017 for 12 months.

Veterans Voices will help the Shropshire Local Covenant and Criminal Justice Forums across Shropshire to improve service delivery by supporting veterans who have been in contact with the criminal justice system to voice their powerful testimonies alongside the providers who helped them.

The intention is to raise awareness of veterans in the criminal justice system, whilst looking to identify and remove disadvantages from local services that ex armed forces personnel may be subject to, ensuring they have equitable and fair access to local resources.

“YSS are  thrilled to be  starting on  this exciting new pilot project in Shropshire  enabling  veterans who have been in contact with the criminal justice system to be able to  share their  very personal  journeys.” said  Deborah Grantham, YSS Operations Director.

Consultation confirmed the need for organisations to hear beneficiaries and providers together, raising awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant, and the direct and indirect effects of service provisions, because life stories are a powerful way to communicate the need for change.

Our intention is to prepare each veteran to present their story powerfully and purposefully, beside the actual provider/partner/person who helped them. Describing what works, why’, ‘where, ‘how’ when veterans transition from prison, and normally in communities, will enable our veterans and service providers to help local service delivers to assist all members of the Armed Forces Community.

With veterans, first, we will help them to become more confident to speak out by practicing public speaking and presenting. Next, we will develop with them the oral, visual and written accounts of their journey and rehearse them in using one of more of these medium to vividly recount their story.

We want to convey and convince providers and partners who are new to working with offenders, veterans and Armed Forces Covenant provisions, what life-changing impact their local services can have by raising awareness and offering insight into the challenges faced/overcome, the difference the made and good practice.

This means that in and around Shropshire commissioners and audiences that offer financial, housing, mental and physical health, employment and social support will hear Veterans Voices.

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