Community Trust help veterans, serving individuals and their families

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New programme launched by Fleetwood Town Community Trust and funded by the Royal British Legion helps to  deliver a number of health, wellness, education, employability and physical activity programmes to veterans, serving individuals and their families.

The Trusts Forces programme, run in partnership with the Royal British Legion, will work with around 70 individuals over the next 12 months to  tackle social isolation and improve their physical and mental wellbeing .

In addition to helping veterans get back into work, the Trusts Forces programme aims to help improve veterans’ physical and mental wellbeing, develop social activities and tackle social isolation.

The Royal British Legion estimates that more than 120,000 military veterans of working age are currently looking for work in the UK.  And in a report released in October, the Legion found a ‘significant veterans’ employment gap’ and claimed an ‘unspoken discrimination’ was preventing many from securing roles. Alison Bunn, Area Manager for the Royal British Legion, which is funding the project, said: “All of the projects we give funding to are worthy recipients, but Fleetwood Town Community Trust really stands out. Much of our work involves empowering our armed forces community to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, so we’re really pleased to be supporting Fleetwood Town Community Trust  in their work. Social isolation can take many forms, but it’s not something that people like to talk about or admit to, especially men, but coming together at these workshops will allow them to share their experiences and learn new skills together. This programme will also help to increase their opportunities in civilian life.”

Community Trust Director,   Matt Hilton, said: . “Moving from military to civilian life is a huge transition for all who have served in the armed forces,” he said. “Around 20,000 personnel leave the UK armed forces annually and have to re-integrate back into civilian life. This often leads to a minority of service leavers facing a range of social and mental health-related problems. We want to help break down these barriers and help veterans live longer, happier lives.

“Each of the veterans that have signed up have very different but equally remarkable stories from a number of tours like Afghanistan, Iraq and the Gulf wars. These men and women have served their country with distinction but for whatever reason, are overcoming barriers in their lives.  They have so much to offer and we want to help them break down the barriers that exist and translate the huge array of skills they have into the civilian market.”

Community  coaches will deliver six projects over the course of the next 12 months, each lasting 7-8 weeks, as they look to tackle many of the problems veterans , serving individuals and their families by assisting them with writing job applications, developing CV writing skills and exploring interview techniques. Community Trust staff will also help the veterans gain work experience placements, attend skill based workshops and secure useful qualifications in Mental Health First Aid and introduction to coaching.

“We want to help develop the physical and mental wellbeing of the veterans too so the programme will include gym and activity based sessions” Matt added. “And we are hoping to use the positive power of rugby by signposting participants to their local club to help them develop strong and supportive social networks.”

The Trusts Military Project Co-ordinator Dave Whitworth added: “The club and the Trust is committed to using sport and education  to break down barriers that exist both on and off the field. The programme is going to give so many fantastic people the opportunity to find a career that pays the bills but more than that, gives them a sense of belonging again.”

If you are interested in getting involved with the Sharks Forces programme, contact Matt Hilton by emailing  or Dave Whitworth at

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