Many people leaving the military often fail to plan far enough ahead of their final day in uniform and it can also be a minefield trying to navigate around the many organisations that support the Armed Forces community.
Veterans Gateway has launched a campaign which will guide service leavers through the process of leaving - and it could prove a useful first point of contact for those seeking support.
The transition to civvy street can be a long and complicated process, so leaving everything to the last three months is often not a sufficient time for personnel to get their life in order.
How the ‘PLAN EARLY’ campaign can help
Veterans’ Gateway was launched in 2017 following Lord Ashcroft’s Veteran’s Transition review and is funded by The Armed Forces Covenant.
The organisations have come together to formally to deliver a service to help the Armed Forces community.
With over 2,000 military charities available to the Armed Forces Community, it was thought there was a clear need for a dedicated service to be the first point of contact for the veteran community.
Veteran’s Gateway represents a pathway to a full list of services from housing to mental health services, from financial to employment advice.
The service also helps signpost a veteran and his or her family to experts who can help with whatever they need.
Watch: Small things can make a big difference
Veterans Gateway has a specialist team of veterans from across all three services, and they are on hand 365 days a year.
The advisors are on hand not only to assist with signposting queries’ but can also help a veteran or family member in a crisis.
Chris, one of the Helpline Advisors, joined the Royal Air Force in 1985 and served almost 10 years before being medically discharged. He admits it took him a lot of time to be able to settle back into civilian life. Chris said:
“I have been in the same position as a lot of people who are calling us here at Veterans Gateway so I can use my personal experiences to point them in the right direction for the best help.”
Transition can sometimes feel like the biggest burst of ‘life admin’ you will ever experience but planning early enough and breaking it down into steps will make it easier. Then you can begin to enjoy the opportunities that life can bring after a career in the military, you will definitely have some extraordinary dits to tell in the bar from your time serving, the only problem is unfortunately the drinks will never be as cheap as in the mess.
Veterans’ Gateway is available to you whether you’re in day one of your new life on civvy street or if in weeks, months or even years down the line you are in need of help and advice. Whether there is a simple question you need answering, or you have a situation that may need specialist support, the service can be contacted and the experts will do the rest.