Every year, Step Together helps over 300 wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel and Veterans across the UK rebuild their lives, through one-to-one support and active engagement in the local community. In partnership with the Ministry of Defence and Help for Heroes, Step Together provides volunteering support to all Personnel Recovery Centres.
Step Together are now launching a new part of this programme, Veterans in Volunteering (ViV), which offers veterans and others with experience of life in the Forces, the opportunity to be trained and supported as volunteers. These volunteers will help promote the programme, research volunteering opportunities for those receiving our support, and provide additional support for Veterans in their local community.
Step Together are running the first two-day training course next month at Tedworth House, Tidworth, and are looking for more people to get involved.
Demelza, Programme Volunteer Coordinator, said “At Step Together, we see the positive impact of volunteering every day. For you, this could be a boost in confidence, experience of supporting others or the opportunity to meet new people. You don’t need any specific skills to volunteer, we will make sure you have all the training and support you need to get the most out of your volunteering.”
Mike was discharged from the Army on medical grounds and had become reclusive, rarely leaving the house, and had withdrawn from the support being offered to him.
He said, “A year ago, I was suicidal and at rock bottom. My life had gone from a successful career in the Army to a hopeless future of nothing. I had lost my identity and purpose.”
At a Personnel Recovery Centre in Wiltshire, Mike met Elaine, Volunteering Project Manager at Step Together Volunteering, a charity that helps those in need transform their lives through community volunteering.
“When I first heard about volunteering, I thought why bother as I need a job, but now I realise how volunteering can help”, said Mike.
Elaine discovered Mike had a passion for the outdoors. With her support, Mike began volunteering at a local school helping with their Forest School sessions and later went on to also volunteer for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.
Mike loved both roles and was soon signing himself up for a number of related courses. Today he is a qualified bush craft instructor and has started paid employment using these skills.
“Volunteering has been amazing. I have made so many contacts and got so much experience and it’s led to a job. I just can’t believe how much I have got from it. I would like to thank Step Together and in particular Elaine, for all the help and support I received whilst going through this transition.”
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