A new support project for former service personnel (FSP) in Sheffield has begun, called Take2. The project has been set up by South Yorkshire Community Foundation in partnership with Action Housing and Support, MIND and Sheffield City Council. The project is funded through the Ministry of Defence Community Covenant Partnership Funds.
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.
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. Take2 offers the complete package that veterans need; I am really pleased to offer mentor support and share my experiences with people leaving the forces.’
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.
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: