Combating Veteran Loneliness

BY NICK PEARCE

Following on from this weekend’s Country Squire Magazine article on fighting rural loneliness, a member of SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity, asked the Squires to highlight “Joining Forces” and Veterans’ Breakfast Clubs which could help out any veterans experiencing loneliness.

Joining Forces is an Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust-supported project to support the quality of life and well-being of veterans (anyone who has completed at least 1 day of military service) born before 1950 and their family and carers. Age UK has partnered with SSAFA to deliver 12 local projects across England, which will involve a partnership between the local Age UK and local SSAFA branch and offering person-centred conversations to older veterans and their family or carer.

These local projects are taking place in the following areas:

  • Cheshire East
  • North Yorkshire and Darlington
  • Gloucestershire
  • Lancashire
  • Leicestershire & Rutland
  • Nottingham & Nottinghamshire
  • Portsmouth
  • Tyne & Wear
  • West Cumbria
  • Wirral
  • Wolverhampton
  • Herefordshire and Worcestershire

Joining Forces is supported by the Aged Veterans Fund funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds. Through the project, Age UK hopes to join together the different sources of support available to older veterans and produce services to reflect any gaps in provision. The project plans to engage over 45,000 older veterans through Joining Forces and to be able to demonstrate improvements in quality of life and well-being through an evaluation by the University of Bath.

Gjen Forfar Legion Breakfast

Veterans’ Breakfast Clubs exist to help veterans, and often currently-serving Armed Forces personnel, by meeting face to face, in a relaxed, safe and social environment. These clubs still have the original values “By Veterans for Veterans”  and “for the Benefit of Veterans”, full accountability and transparency. All Breakfast Clubs are run autonomously and by their members for the benefit of their members not the selected few.

If you know of a veteran who might benefit from Joining Forces or the Veterans’ Breakfast Clubs, then please feel free to contact the magazine, email support@afvbc.com or go direct to the relevant websites below:

Joining Forces:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/joining-forces/what-is-joining-forces/

Veterans’ Breakfast Clubs:

https://afvbc.com/

It goes without saying you do not have to be lonely to attend.

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