Healthwatch Essex is always keen to ensure that all voices in our communities are heard and are used to shape change across health and social care. This Remembrance Day we are reminded that this year is a time when isolation and loneliness has been highlighted more than ever before and we want to ensure that we are inclusive in capturing the stories of those who are not heard as frequently as they should be.
As of 2015, there were an estimated 2.56 million UK Armed Forces veterans residing in households across Great Britain. It is of paramount importance that veterans are aware of the easily accessible support that is put in place for them and that they feel comfortable to reach out to accept that support.
Previous research by the Transition, Intervention & Liaison Service (TILS) suggests that during transition out of the armed services, veterans find it hard to ask for help. Some veterans report that NHS services struggle to understand what they have been through. It is important that veterans have the chance to voice their opinions and express ways in which services can improve the life of veterans in Essex.
‘What Matters to Veterans’ is a project which focuses on listening to veterans’ views around their needs during transition and asks the question ‘What is a veteran?’. The project includes discussions around matters relating to health and social care, mental health support, employment services, housing, and more. We will actively reach out to veterans living in Essex and ask them to share their lived experience which will influence positive change. The findings will be shared in a report which will be launched in mid-2021.
If you would like to express an interest in being involved please contact the project lead, Dan Potts, at [email protected]