Forces in Mind Trust Working Together Award
Battling On CIC
The veterans of Battling On pride themselves in their community based approach to supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and vulnerable adults to re-engage with their communities using a variety of innovative programmes.
Each year Battling On’s “Together We Can Succeed” programme supports young people who have disengaged with education and have no qualifications, to re-engage through a unique approach, which gives young people the skills they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Veterans support young people to gain vocational certificates, numeracy and literacy qualifications and work experience. The work experience is delivered through volunteering with Battling On supporting over thirty different community groups, charities and Trusts with the young people providing over 5000 hours of volunteering a year. The ethos behind this approach is that for a young person to re-engage with society they first need to feel part of it. Volunteering within their communities helps facilitate this process, breaking down intergenerational barriers and building trust. It also helps young people gain real life work experience whilst utilizing their newly acquired vocational skills.
In 2017 Battling On was awarded The Queens Award for Voluntary Services and has also been awarded the VSF Award for Innovation, Enterprise and Partnership in recognition of its innovative approach to working with other third sector groups.
Cobseo Housing Cluster
The Cobseo Housing Cluster is relatively new. Three years ago Veterans’ housing organisations didn’t meet together and most of the current 30 members had never met each other at all. Creating the Cluster enabled members to work together to achieve shared objectives. A joint chair model was created which enables the Cluster to represent the different housing providers in our membership.
Collaboration has been a guiding principle of the Cluster. Each meeting is hosted by a different member and meetings alternate between London and outside which reinforces the importance of all members within the Cluster and encourages people to attend.
Nick Wood is a veteran who served in the Falklands with the Royal Navy in 1982. He created the Veterans in Custody Support model when serving in HM Prison Service, becoming the national coordinator for all HM Prisons in England and Wales and has since dedicated his professional life to supporting the nearly 6.4 million strong ex-Armed Forces community. As education and development lead at York St John University, he developed The Military Human series of training courses in 2012 to enable health and social care staff to support veterans with their transition to civilian life. The university has now delivered this specialised CPD training to 1,200 staff.
Nick’s ‘Understanding Military Culture and Transition’ training has been delivered in partnership with over 30 different organisations including councils and NHS trusts across the country. York St John University’s partnership with Health Education Yorkshire and Humber has provided CPD for over 1000 staff alone.
Nick’s work has had a significant impact on the ex-Armed Forces community’s engagement with community services. His passion for making a positive difference, no matter how small, by sharing what he has learned with others is an inspiration and he would be a worthy winner of the Working Together Award.