Gwent Police has reinforced its commitment to colleagues from the armed services and their families by announcing a new partnership and initiative with the Forces charity SSAFA.
The Force has worked closely with the Gwent branch of SSAFA, the oldest military charity in the country, to produce a short film and other resources for police officers and staff to better understand the challenges that are sometimes faced by veterans and their families readjusting to civilian life.
These challenges can often leave former service personnel and their families vulnerable and can lead to the abuse of alcohol and drugs, violence and can also result in homelessness. The resources will form part of Police officers training days, which they undertake every 10 weeks, and will help officers signpost veterans and their families to services and support which is available to them through organisations such as SSAFA.
Chief Superintendent Rhiannon Kirk commented:
“Gwent Police is committed to supporting colleagues from the armed services, some of whom experience real hardships and challenges when they leave the military. It’s not about putting special services in place or treating veterans differently, it’s about understanding the often complex needs of veterans as they readjust to civilian life.
“The initiative will help officers signpost former service personnel to the raft of support which is available to them. Having put themselves on the line to protect our country the very least we can do is help them when they are at their most vulnerable .”
The initiative is being fully supported by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and will complement the commitment which has already been made by Gwent Police in signing the Armed Forces military covenant in 2013. The covenant aims to encourage all agencies within our community to offer support to the local Armed Forces community and make it easier for Service personnel, families and veterans to access the help and support available from the Ministry of Defence (MOD), from statutory providers and from the Charitable and Voluntary Sector.
Chris Kirk who is the Marketing, Communications & Fundraising Coordinator for the Gwent branch of SSAFA added: “ I am delighted to be given the opportunity to be involved with Gwent Police in the design and implementation of this initiative. As a former Soldier and Gwent Police officer I realise the value and impact this initiative will bring to the Armed Forces communities of Gwent.”
To mark Armed Forces Day tomorrow (Saturday 27 June) Chief Superintendent Rhiannon Kirk will be joining volunteers from SSAFA at a fundraising event in the ASDA store in Duffryn.