The festive period can be a hard time for many people, but for those with physical, mental and emotional scars from a warzone, it can be particularly tough.
The Press and Journal’s Force for Good campaign aims to raise awareness of the struggles veterans face back in “Civvy land” – but also the work carried out by charities across the north and north-east to support them throughout the year.
We have teamed up with SSAFA, Legion Scotland and Help for Heroes to highlight the support on offer, and the challenges they help service personnel overcome on a daily basis.
We also want to hear about the unsung heroes in the patch who already volunteer, and from those who have been helped.
By sharing these stories, we hope you may be able to do your bit to support our local veterans – whether they live down the street, or miles away in the next town.
Our three charities – which work closely together – are always in need of financial donations, but also need volunteers to keep their services running throughout the year.
SSAFA: Supports serving and ex-military families emotionally and practically, with advice available on benefits, debt, welfare, housing and healthcare and the transition to civilian life. SSAFA also helps military families facing mental health problems, including depression, anxiety or dealing with PTSD.
Legion Scotland: Provides community, friendship and practical advice to serving and ex-military families. Support includes pension advice, and visits from community volunteers who can introduce veterans to one another and take them to activities, such as regular comradeship events. The charity is also part of the Veterans Gateway service, offering assistance with housing, employment, finances, physical health and mental wellbeing.
Help for Heroes: Provides comprehensive support to British servicemen and women who have been wounded or injured in the line of duty. This includes physical and psychological recovery, financial assistance and help getting back to work by offering careers support, interview tips and finding relevant experience opportunities.