Another session full of examples of the key work being done to support the Armed Forces community across Sussex and Kent & Medway; whether this is from the Dept of Work and Pensions, the NHS or from charitable organisations.
Presentations were given by:
Recruitment Using Different Methods
Nikki Mears, Founder, Naturally Talented Me
10 Years supporting the Armed Forces in the DWP
Fiona Hamilton, Armed Forces Champion Lead for South East Coast, Dept for Work and Pensions
Brendan Williams, Chief Executive, Building Heroes
Royal British Legion Industries
Steve Parrott, Head of Welfare, Royal British Legion Industries
The Poppy Factory
Sami Choudhury, Employment Consultant, The Poppy Factory
The Network had also received a fantastic number of nominations for Awards within social care and employment and we are pleased to announce the following winners:
Case studies of transformations, from homelessness, mental ill health to now running own businesses show what a difference the Building Heroes team have made to the Armed Forces community. In 2020 they celebrated having trained and graduated over 1000 military service leavers, veterans and family. Building Heroes is the only military charity that provides reskilling, welfare support, to equipping applicants with the skills needed to prepare for the new work place and help in finding work. Whilst the course provides three recognised qualifications, it is often found to provide rehabilitation and build the confidence that is needed to find a new vocation in life. Transition from the services to the civilian world can be a challenge and they help make this a manageable and successful process. The charity celebrated their 6th year of being a dedicated military Charity, a milestone given the current climate. It is through the dedication of the whole team and successful outcomes of everyone that Building Heroes continue to do what they love - helping those that have served us.
Jane Burt visited Building Heroes and passed on their Award and pictured is Karen and Eddie from Building Heroes.
Fiona Hamilton, Department for Work and Pensions
Fiona trained as a service champion in 2018 but prior to this was already supporting veterans in her work for DWP. Fiona is a great ambassador for what a Service Champion can achieve. Within her area of work in the DWP she ensures that the Armed Forces clients are identified and she provides support and guidance and regularly contacts the network to ensure her clients get their wider needs met; whether mental health, social or debt issues. She is a resource of advice for DWP and has facilitated training sessions for colleagues and held information events where charities and statutory services that can help this community and provide information and advice for staff, are invited to attend. Her newly appointed role as Armed Forces Champion Lead, South East Group, for the Department for Work and Pensions is testament to her dedication and hard work in championing the needs of our local Armed Forces Community.
Fiona receiving her Award from the Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff for East Sussex at the event on 20 July 2021.