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NEW SUPPORT PROJECT FOR FORMER SERVICE PERSONNEL IN SHEFFIELD

NEW SUPPORT PROJECT FOR FORMER SERVICE PERSONNEL IN SHEFFIELD

02 May 17:00 by Alejandro Rodriguez Garcia

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Take2 has been designed to fulfil an urgent need to support vulnerable former service personnel struggling to adapt to life after finishing their service. Work experience, education, training, volunteering, life skills lessons and well-being support are available to all participants. The project will also be able to offer housing to those struggling to find a safe and secure residence.

Participants will be supported according to their individual needs and aims to help each person achieve long term employment and housing security. The wide range of support also encourages independence, well-being and confidence in those involved. 

Action Housing’s HOPE project has partnered with Take2 to deliver employment opportunities.   HOPE takes dilapidated, derelict and disused houses, and engages people in the therapeutic creation of their own homes and livelihoods. The intention is to bring empty homes back into use, transform infill and derelict sites and increase the number of affordable housing units available for rent; promoting sustainable independence for vulnerable people.

This is a 12 months pilot programme which, upon a successful completion of the evaluation, has a huge potential to become a permanent part of the support network for former service personnel. What makes it different from other schemes is the encouragement for the participants of the scheme to become actively involved in the process of their own life change. Building on the established principles of the HOPE project, peer mentoring, team working and active volunteering are critical elements of Take2, ensuring that former service personnel are active participants in making positive life choices and contributing to their local community, rather than passive receivers of support services. 

When asked about his involvement with the Project, a current mentor of the scheme Richard Parker said:  ‘I have experienced some of the difficulties faced when leaving the army and feel that services need to be easier accessed. Within Sheffield, it was very difficult to find appropriate support. Take 2 offers the complete package that veterans need; I am really pleased to offer mentor support and share my experiences with people leaving the forces.’

By a core partnership of South Yorkshire Community Foundation, Action Housing, MIND and the local council, the programme seeks to reintegrate the FSP into their local community through the provision of support programmes outlined above, but most importantly through the creation of bespoke packages of support based on individual needs. Take2 understands that every one’s needs are different and therefore a thorough needs assessment is carried out prior to the participant’s start of the scheme. As a part of the project, a personalised action plan is then created based around the person’s requirements and desires. The one thing Take2 is hoping for all persons involved to have in common is the eagerness to take control and improve their lives.

There is a number of other partners offering significant support to the project, those include (but are not limited to):,  SY Police, Sheffield Wednesday FC, Catch 22, Kier, Catterick Barracks, Amey, NHS Veterans Outreach Service, and the Royal British Legion.

Anyone who has served less than four years in the army and lives in, or has connections to, Sheffield is eligible to apply. Participants do not need any qualifications or experience to take part and need to be able to spend a minimum of two days per week for twelve weeks in the programme. The Project which is focusing on community integration is looking to benefit at least 10 former service personnel and seven other local people without previous involvement with the forces.

If you think you could benefit from the Take2 project, or would be willing to become a mentor, then please go to http://take2project.co.uk/or contact:

Paula Martin
Email: paula.martin@actionhousinguk.org
Telephone: 01709 821 251 / 07825056227           
Website: www.actionhousinguk.org

Or if you like to support the project please contact: 

Sonia Bielaszeswska 
Email: soniab@sycf.org.uk
Telephone: 0114 242 4857 / 07539007899

Website: www.sycf.org.uk