The 9th – 13th May was Mental Health Awareness week. It was therefore a fitting occasion for Help for Heroes to launch their campaign to recruit military veterans to support their colleagues in a ‘buddy’ scheme. The idea is designed to help against issues of isolation and loneliness.
Launched in Wales
The pilot scheme is being run throughout Wales. The ‘Buddy’ scheme serves as a way of connecting socially isolated veterans with volunteer veterans who are no longer serving and are members of their local community. The aim is for the buddy to provide friendship and emotional support as well as helping the beneficiary become more involved in their local and wider community.
The scheme is open to any beneficiaries in Wales that want support, and the volunteer role to be a ‘buddy’ is open to anybody in Wales who has been in the UK Armed Forces.
Every year thousands of military personnel leave the armed forces to begin civilian lives. In 2020 just over 12,000 people made that move. The vast majority do so effectively, however there are a small minority that struggle to integrate within the communities they live in.
The buddy scheme aims to help this minority group. The key issues are difficulty to make connections within their new life and loneliness, so the buddy scheme should provide crucial help where it is needed.
Volunteer ‘buddy’s’ will receive comprehensive training and only once training is completed will they be matched with a beneficiary.
You can find out more about this scheme by visiting the Help For Heroes site.