IVG pledges support to former and serving members of the Armed Forces and their families
Inspired Villages Group, the operator and developer of later living communities across the UK, is also joining forces with the Royal Marines to launch a new mentoring scheme.
Inspired Villages Group (IVG) has reaffirmed its commitment to treat serving and former members of the Armed Forces fairly. Jamie Bunce, CEO of the later living operator, recently signed the Armed Forces Covenant at Durrants Village, IVG’s retirement community in Faygate, West Sussex.
The signing seals the company’s commitment to the fair treatment of former and serving military personnel – both Regular and Reserve – and their families. By making the promise, IVG vows to ensure that people in the Services and those who are ex-Armed Forces will not be disadvantaged in their day-to-day lives.
Alongside the signing of the covenant, IVG is developing a mentoring programme to support military personnel leaving the Forces. The scheme will see residents of the company’s retirement villages across the UK acting as mentors to help people adjust to life outside the Services. The programme will be launched at IVG’s Millbrook Village development in Exeter, in partnership with the Royal Marines’ Commando Training Centre at Lympstone. The scheme will then be rolled out to all of IVG’s later living communities.
Says Jamie: ‘The Armed Forces Covenant is an opportunity for businesses, local authorities, charities and community organisations to declare their support for the Armed Forces community. The signing of the promise demonstrates that IVG recognises that people from the Services have transferable skills, particularly in relation to project management and leadership. As Bronze Award holders under the Covenant, we’ll make sure our workforce is aware of our positive policies towards people in the Forces.’
IVG recognises that people from the Services have transferable skills, particularly in relation to project management and leadership
Jamie says that the mentoring scheme, with the support of IVG residents, will bring the whole community in each area together, adding that it will further cement the company’s commitment to the Armed Forces by supporting military personnel making the transition from the Services to civilian life.
He explains: ‘Including our residents in the programme provides people leaving the Services with an opportunity to speak with a mentor who may have run their own business, been a senior leader in their company or indeed have served in the Forces themselves. We recognise that our residents have a huge wealth of experience that will help people to transition to civilian life. Plus, many of our residents want to give something back and this scheme will also help them to keep their minds active. At IVG we’re focused on active living in retirement and on tackling loneliness.’
Kate Lole, regional employer engagement director for the Ministry of Defence, thanked IVG for agreeing to sign the Covenant and for launching the mentoring programme, saying: ‘Members of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force can find the transition to civilian life rather lonely and a bit of a challenge. With a clearly defined mentoring scheme through Inspired, we believe it could bring great benefits to both those transitioning and their mentors.’
How will the programme work?
Each mentor will be matched with a mentee, and they will meet face to face or remotely, typically for an hour a month. The programme can cover all areas of transitioning, including identifying skills, goals and potential, and providing advice and guidance on suitable areas of employment.
Jamie continues: ‘Our mentors will have excellent listening skills, and the ability to build trust and confidence, as well as offer encouragement. They will also be approachable, honest and compassionate. And, because we’re actively looking to provide career opportunities for those with the right skills, the mentor will be able to make their mentee aware of the opportunities that may be available to them at IVG.’
The number of mentors ready to get started currently stands at 14 across all of IVG’s later living communities. ‘Our mentors will be given a “guide to mentoring”,’ says Jamie, ‘and we’ll also hold workshops with residents and staff, so they can share their experiences and practise their skills.’
Backed by Legal & General, IVG owns and operates seven retirement villages in the UK, and is continuing to acquire more sites every year. As well as offering one, two and three-bedroom properties that are tailor-made for later life, each village has its own facilities, such as wellness spas, bistros and games rooms.
For further information about Inspired Villages Group, please visit www.inspiredvillages.co.uk
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