An investment of almost £500,000 will help a group of Wigan-based organisations to tackle complex mental health issues and substance misuse in veterans while supporting their families and those who care for them.
Wigan Council has secured £478,500 from the Armed Forces Covenant to deliver the ‘Unite, Inspire, Achieve’ programme with partners including Wigan Borough Armed Forces HQ, Addaction, Healthier Heroes CIC and Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre.
The programme will pilot a new way of working to support veterans in Wigan Borough who may be struggling with complex mental health issues and do not meet the threshold for statutory care.
It will also look into respite care options that ensure the individual remains connected to the local community but also supports their carer and family.
Wigan Council is one of three organisations in England and one of eight projects across the United Kingdom to be awarded a slice of the £4,263,084 pot, which has been earmarked for the Armed Forces Covenant’s ‘Tackling serious stress in veterans, carers and their families’ programme.
Councillor Clive Morgan, lead member for armed forces in Wigan Borough, said: “This grant will support us to work even closer with our partners to support a very specific group of residents and their families who may have more complex needs than the average civilian.
“This service will wrap around the whole family and will improve outcomes for those who may struggle to engage in current services. It also aims to keep armed forces families active in their communities and will be complimented by the borough’s ground-breaking armed forces hub.
“It’s fantastic that we are one of three organisations in the country to be awarded some of this grant. It’s a great example of our commitment to the armed forces community and how we are leading the way here in Wigan.”
The Covenant’s programme supports projects where there is good evidence to suggest that they will build on the current sources of support on offer.
The money also encourages charities, health professionals and other organisations to work together and explore new ideas that have been developed with the armed forces community
Melloney Poole, Chief Executive of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, said: “We are delighted to make these significant grants and we look forward to working with all of the grant holders as they set up their complex projects, and to looking at what we can learn from these projects to help improve future support for veterans who are very unwell, their carers and families.
The evaluation approach that we are taking on this programme will look at all of these projects in the round to identify what might work best. We look forward to being able to share this information.