Change Step has been awarded a grant of £49,459 by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity to further develop collaborative relationships with other services across Wales.
Change Step offers effective support for veterans in Wales — including dedicated services for those in crisis, older veterans, and people with mental health and substance misuse needs.
Their team of veteran peer mentors use their own experiences to help veterans confront challenges in their lives, and to navigate and engage with support services throughout Wales.
Since 2014, the project has supported more than 1,500 veterans and their families.
Change Step provides:
- Crisis peer mentoring for veterans who need urgent access to help in relation to mental health, substance misuse, and other issues
- Dedicated mentoring for ex-forces personnel accessing treatment through Veterans NHS Wales— the first joined-up mental health support of its type in Wales
- Effective liaison between prisons, local authorities and statutory services to support veterans who are being transferred to a Welsh prison, or who are returning to live in Wales, as part of the SToMP project
- Practical and direct support for older veterans, helping to tackle isolation in our communities
The Soldiers’ Charity’s funding will enable Change Step to help more veterans in Wales by supporting the project to develop crucial new partnerships and reach out into more rural communities.
Project manager, Simon Frith, who spent seven years in the Royal Navy and now leads a team of around a dozen peer mentors across Wales, commented: “Change Step mentors work with veterans in crisis, veterans with mental health needs, and isolated older veterans on the ground in communities throughout Wales.
“By working closely with both statutory and other voluntary sector services, we help ex-forces personnel access the help they need through effective one-to-one, veteran-to-veteran support.
“This valuable funding will enable Change Step to develop new partnerships and strengthen our existing working arrangements throughout Wales – with a particular focus on supporting more isolated veterans in rural areas.
“We look forward to working with the ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, and to continuing to demonstrate how effective peer mentoring can be of real benefit for former members of our Armed Forces.”