5 Towns Veterans Support Hub

5 Towns Veterans Support Hub

We are a Veterans Support group who have been giving assistance by telephone, internet and socially distanced visits. We have provided help to veterans and their families through use of the armed forces covenant, our links to Wakefield District Housing, SSAFA and specialists within the NHS. We have helped a number of veterans with welfare calls, food deliveries and to reduce loneliness.

I am most proud of our ability to cut through some red tape and get help to people who need it quickly. We have close links with specialists in the NHS and are in the process of assisting with referrals.

We regularly ask our clients what they need. We keep in touch by phone and internet. We have built up a large following at the Armed Forces Breakfast Clubs and it is through these contacts, that we get to know what the larger veterans' community are needing. We speak to our clients on a quiet, private basis to understand their needs more deeply and to give them the opportunity to open up and communicate their issues.

We previously had a drop-in centre in Castleford Library and now hold appointments on Wednesdays at our office in Pontefract. It is through the many consultations we have had, that we have learnt the common issues of the veterans' community in the 5 towns area, and where to focus our assistance.

We have learnt that the provision of our services need to be across multiple platforms. We can only provide our services to some people at a distance as they are now fearful of being out in public. To this end, we now have a full suite of software to help us to keep in touch online, we have a dedicated phone line and we have an office opening soon in Featherstone. This office will provide a quiet place, out of the way of the town centres, so people can drive to or be dropped off there. It’s quiet and will form the basis of our PTSD and Dementia support for veterans and their families.

Keith Jefferey