Walking With The Wounded from the Hub on Canada Street in Manchester are now providing a support service to wounded and vulnerable Veterans across the Region.
Walking With The Wounded has four key programmes, each one addressing a barrier to employment for a vulnerable veteran; Head Start to support those with mental health difficulties, Project Nova which works with veterans in police custody, Home Straight for homeless veterans and First Steps for those without the necessary training or qualifications for their chosen civilian career.
These programmes work in harmony to support vulnerable, wounded, injured and sick veterans in their pathway to sustainable independence and employment. Of course, we would love for a Veteran to receive support straight from our First Steps Programme, but more often than not, the Veterans will need to overcome barriers before they get there.
Mental health – An essential purpose of WWTW is to deliver mental healthcare to veterans. We have already trialled a pilot with NHS Pennine Care to integrate what we do with its veterans’ mental health team with a focus on providing employment support to those receiving healthcare. The pilot has now ended, and the outcomes have been evaluated and a report has been submitted to NHS England. Following on from the pilot we continue to fund an employment support worker within the Pennine Care veteran mental health team.
Supporting Veterans in Police Custody – By establishing a WWTW footprint at Canada Street we have been able to roll out a Northwest Regional Project Nova team to support vulnerable veterans caught up in police custody in the North West. This programme is supporting vulnerable individuals and reducing the re-offending rates. The Nova outcomes are benefiting from the other support services based out of Canada Street (Employment, Welfare Support and Mental Health) and links to local partnerships brokered through our links with local authorities, businesses and providers.
Homeless veterans – We have established pathways for those veterans who are, and who have been, homeless. Working in partnership with existing housing providers and homeless organisations and including the Training House in East Manchester as part of the journey. In terms of capacity, we believe we will soon be in a position to identify and provide up to 20 bed spaces for veterans who have been homeless in Greater Manchester at any one time. What is encouraging is we believe this is scalable not just in Manchester but in GM too.
Employment – The Manchester Team has undertaken a significant amount of work to raise the awareness of veteran’s employment, open routes to employment with local corporates, and establish training programmes and work experience which will benefit many in the future. This is not easy to achieve and work is ongoing to improve this.