Charities' employment support for Armed Forces

Published on Tuesday, 24 September 2013 15:22
Written by Sinead Fynes Black

Armed Forces community members seeking a pathway to employment are set to benefit from the launch of new support organisation 'SORTED!'

SORTED! is a consortium of 7 well-established Service charities supported by a new website and helpline which will provide easy access to employment support for Armed Forces personnel past and present.

Launched yesterday, 23 September, SORTED! has been jointly developed by the 7 charities, all of whom currently provide different tailored services within the employment support arena.

The charities involved are the Regular Forces Employment Association, the Officers Association, the Royal British Legion, Royal British Legion Industries, the Poppy Factory, the Officers Association Scotland and Poppyscotland.

This is the first time Service charities have collaborated on this scale to provide employment support.

SORTED! Chairman Steve Sherry said:

"The collaboration of 7 leading Service charities in a consortium with a new web portal and helpline will quickly link individuals – veterans, spouses and dependants – into the specific employment support they require. SORTED! members hope to see other like-minded organisations join this streamlining of service provision."

Mark Francois, the Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, said:

"Our Armed Forces give so much to our country and it is only right that we recognise their tremendous contribution and sacrifice. That is why we are encouraging all sections of society to get behind the covenant to support our Armed Forces community in every way they can and make a real difference to their lives.

"I am delighted therefore that SORTED! have brought together the expertise of 7 charities to visibly improve the lives of our Armed Forces personnel and veterans."

The SORTED! website has been designed to make the employment journey for the beneficiary straight forward and easily accessible. Key features include a simple questionnaire that individuals complete to ensure that they are referred to the most appropriate Service charity, which will have the expertise and knowledge to assist.

Armed Forces veteran Paul Harding served in the Royal Signals for 13 years and faced real challenges after leaving the Army:

"I struggled to settle down and relate to people and found myself withdrawing from society," he explained. "My partner became so concerned about me that she sought professional help from our GP. I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which explained a lot about how I was feeling.

"Through the help of SORTED! charities, my PTSD was controlled, I found steady employment, developed my confidence, and was able to showcase the range of transferable military skills I had to secure full-time employment as a maintenance engineer."

Source: Ministry of Defence 

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