On Sunday 11th November people across Britain – and indeed across the world – will stop at 11am for two minutes and remember the millions of Veterans who have died in service.
In 2010 SPEAR recognised the issues that many Veterans were facing and launched a dedicated service, funded by The Royal British Legion, to help ex-Service Personnel and their dependants living in south west London with a range of housing and social care needs.
The Veterans’ Support Service currently works with 34 clients. A typical story is that of Mr Williamson (*) who served in the Armed Forces for 14 years, from 1988 to 2001, serving in Bosnia in 1995. As a result, he was diagnosed with Minor Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Chronic Severe Anxiety Disorder after becoming ill almost four years ago. He has also recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Earlier this year Mr Williamson’s health deteriorated and he lost his job as an office manager. He was referred to SPEAR by Combat Stress and has been working closely with our Veterans’ team. He and his family are struggling financially and the team have been able to arrange a referral to a debt advice agency and help him to apply for the correct benefits including a war pension.
Mr Williamson requires massages as he is in severe pain and SPEAR have managed to access a grant from the Royal British Legion which is now paying for these massages as well as the travel costs to his therapies.
Although the family continue to be worried and distressed about their financial situation and Mr Williamson is still struggling physically and emotionally, they are now being supported by SPEAR and that is a source of strength for them. It is a hard reality that many of our clients are not able to change their lives overnight but SPEAR is committed to working with them to find long-term solutions.
This Sunday please take a moment to remember both those Veterans who have given their lives for their country as well as those who continue to struggle with daily life. If you would like to know more about SPEAR’s Veterans’ Support Service you can email email@example.com
Marscha, Veterans’ Support Worker
* Name has been changed to protect the client’s identity
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