Forces vets told: We’re here to help - The Worcester Observer

Forces vets told: We’re here to help

Rob George 25th Oct, 2016 Updated: 25th Oct, 2016   0

VULNERABLE Worcester veterans of working age are being urged to come forward as part of a new campaign by armed forces charity SSAFA.

The charity has launched its ‘Got Your Back’ campaign to give veterans the help they may need to return to civilian life.

SSAFA’s Worcestershire branch, one of 53 in England, covers the whole county and has divisions in Bromsgrove and Redditch, Droitwich Spa, Pershore & Evesham, Worcester & Malvern and Wyre Forest and has supported 199 people so far this year.

However, charity chiefs believe there are many more veterans who would benefit, but are not asking for help.

While most service leavers make a successful transition to civilian life, some younger veterans experience serious social and financial difficulties and are reliant on foodbanks while others have ended up homeless or in prison.

Some of the most common needs include urgent debt support, essential food and groceries and clothing, home mobility adaptations for those who have been injured in service and training costs to help them back into work.

A recent SSAFA survey found more than half of working-age veterans did not have enough money for essential items.

David Swift joined the Army aged 17 but found it near-impossible to adjust to civilian life when he left and ended up living on the streets.

“In the space of a year I went from being a healthy young man in a great regiment to someone sitting in a park wondering what the point of my life was,” the 40-year-old said.

Sir Andrew Gregory, SSAFA chief executive said: “The aim of SSAFA’s Got your Back campaign is simple and the message is clear; ‘Those who have served this country and those who have supported them have protected our backs; don’t be too proud now to ask us to protect yours.”

Veterans and their families in need can call SSAFA’s Forcesline confidentially on 0800 731 4880 or contact them by e-mail via

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