Finding Your way
We would like you to fund the pilot 10 months of a new project which will increase our capacity to support veterans and their families in tackling the impact of welfare reform, poverty and social inequalities and develop their ability to prevent themselves from reaching crisis point . As a result of their training and the culture of the military, where self reliance and never admitting to weakness or difficulty, veterans tend to be proud, and reluctant to ask for help until they are at a crisis point. They often believe that the only option is to deal with what ever problems arise without seeking, or accepting help. An example of that is where we had asked a veteran who was at risk of eviction when his housing benefit had been stopped, because of a mistake on his form, what he would do first.
His response was, “Don’t worry, I can live in the woods, I’ve done it before.” As you can see, this veteran needed a great deal of support to calmly address the issue, get advice, and submit the necessary information. Another veteran who had a very short term cash flow issue, gave up hos mortgage and moved into insecure rented accommodation because he was too proud to ask for help, he said “there are others who need it more than me”. 90% of the veterans we support are completely reliant on the welfare system, but few have any understanding of how it works, and particularly of the changes that have been and are being made.
There is clearly a need for :
1. Removing the stigma for veterans in of asking for help
2. Encouraging asking for support early, not waiting until they are at crisis point.
3. Enabling veterans to engage with the welfare system and understand welfare reform changes. We want to pilot ways of doing this : – Open workshops bringing in welfare advisors to speak to groups of veterans- encouraging them to seek help early. – Advertising the project – Providing Individual assistance to veterans in need which will require staff training as well as bringing in expert advisers.