Backed by £2 million from the Ministry of Defence’s Covenant Fund, ‘Veterans’ Gateway’ is designed to help former Servicemen and women of all ages and backgrounds navigate their new lives as civilians.
From advice on housing and finance to help with health concerns, the Gateway will bring together the vast range of charities and support on offer, guiding veterans directly to the help they need, when and where they need it.
The new 24-hour online chat, phone, and text message service brings the Armed Forces support community together in a single place for the first time - delivered by a Royal British Legion-led consortium with Poppyscotland, Combat Stress, Connect Assist, the Ministry of Defence and SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity. The service centre, based near Cardiff in South Wales, is manned partly by veterans to help ensure that callers can speak to someone who can understand their experience.
Tobias Ellwood, Minister for Defence People and Veterans said:
The vast majority of our people make a smooth transition from military to civilian life, but the Veterans’ Gateway provides extra support in the form of a staffed, 24-hour, one-stop-shop offering guidance on housing and employment, finance, mental and physical health. Our £2 million investment honours the nation’s Armed Forces Covenant and draws all facets of support for our Armed Forces community together for the first time.
Charles Byrne, Director General of The Royal British Legion, on behalf of the Veterans’ Gateway consortium said:
Every charity only exists to help, but Lord Ashcroft revealed the uncomfortable truth that a proliferation of providers in our sector can cause confusion about where to turn. The consortium’s research found that the Armed Forces community – overwhelmingly – supports the Veterans’ Gateway, with 83 per cent welcoming the creation of a first point of contact. Veterans’ Gateway will make it easier for them to get the support they need, from whoever is best able to provide it. No matter how complex their needs, working together we can do more.
Veterans’ Gateway has been established in response to Lord Ashcroft’s 2014 Veterans’ Transition Review, which called for the process by which veterans are guided to welfare support services to be made easier to navigate. It honours the Armed Forces Covenant – a pledge, enshrined in law, that former and current members of our armed forces, and their families, should suffer no disadvantage because of their service to our nation.
To contact Veterans’ Gateway Call: 0808 802 1212 Text: 81212 or visit: http://www.veteransgateway.org.uk