Walking With The Wounded Fund ETE Worker
We are delighted to report that that the charity 'Walking with the Wounded' WWTW has provided financial assistance to employ our very own Education Training and Employment Lead. Neil Tully a former Royal Engineer with 16 years’ service behind him was Medically Discharged from Military service a few years ago and like many before him initially struggled with the transition back to civilian life. After his induction to Forward Assist he was tasked with supporting Wounded Injured & Sick (WIS) veterans living in the North East as well as those involved with the CJS or Homeless Sector. He has a specific remit to engage with those Veterans furthest from the jobs market and accommodated at the AF&V owned Avondale House 'Launchpad' Accommodation Project in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne. Since he started work with Forward Assist he has had direct contact with 58 Veterans offering Information Advice & Guidance and specialist Employment Support. By working closely with Newcastle Futures he has managed to get 17 Veterans into Employment, 10 Veterans on 'Work Experience' Placements, 12 Veterans onto Vocational Skills based Employment Training Courses and 22 Veterans Volunteering with Forward Assist on our 'Community Benefit' Initiatives. Whilst he is delighted that 4 Veterans have remained in full-time employment for over 8 months he is concerned that the poor retention rate and in the last few months linked up with specialist agencies to offer Pre-employment Training courses and is currently developing an 'In Employment' support package for his client group. Neil also manages a group of four Volunteers who offer additional support to the Veterans he works with. They assist the Veterans in attending interviews, GP appointments or help them complete forms for agencies such as Housing Providers/ JCP /Welfare Benefits Organisations and/or Education Employment Training Providers. Forward Assist also facilitates 'Independent Living Skills' training and a Student from Newcastle University holds regular Cookery Skills Training Sessions for Veterans at Avondale House. Similarly we have facilitated regular Angling Sessions for residents and our Sports Development Coach provides free Gym, running, cycling sessions to improve physical fitness. In recognition of his work Neil Tully has been invited to meet HRH Prince Harry when he visits Avondale in the Near future.