When SSAFA introduced ex-forces veteran Neil to Half the Battle new opportunities opened up for him. Now he’s training to be a social worker!
I left the armed forces 20 years ago, after serving in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq. Since then I’ve worked as a pub manager. Recently an old injury flared up, I had to give up my job, so I lost my home too. At this point Veteran’s Aid helped me find accommodation and SSAFA introduced me to Half the Battle.
My dream is to become a clinical psychologist working with veterans. Half the Battle’s advice and guidance officer helped me set the achievable goal of training as a social worker, and gave me the confidence to realise I can become a clinical psychologist a step at a time.
I’m now doing an Adult Social Care course funded by Genesis Housing Association and a Counselling course funded by Half the Battle. I’m also involved in MHDT’s befriending project. All this practical experience and training are major steps towards becoming a social worker.
As a Woodberry Works volunteer I’ve used skills acquired in the forces, created career opportunities, and escaped the daytime TV schedule! I’ve trained and supervised local people producing Well London’s community lunch and developed I.T skills doing office administration and supporting local people with online job search and CVs and cover letters. I’ve also used my managerial skills to help organise a job fair at the Redmond Centre.
Half the Battle is funded by the Armed Forces Community Covenant. SSAFA and Veterans Aid helped me secure expensive private accommodation. However, the Armed Forces Covenant states that “Serving personnel should have priority status in applying for Government-sponsored affordable housing schemes”. If Half the Battle could help address the housing problem you’re not just fighting the battle you’re also winning the war.
I would like to thank Felix Fry from Manor House Development Trust for setting up this invaluable project, Roger Davie from SSAFA for introducing me, and Richard Sharp from Genesis Housing Association for recognising the potential of ex-service personnel and giving me the opportunity to prove our worth.
For more information about Half the Battle; 020 3819 5617 / firstname.lastname@example.org