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Working together to deliver veteran mentoring across Scotland

Working together to deliver veteran mentoring across Scotland


21 Jan, 2021

Volunteering charity TimeBank has received a grant of £21,283 from the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) to work with SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, with a view to integrating its mentoring projects supporting Service leavers’ transition from military to civilian life …

TimeBank has delivered mentoring for ex-Service personnel and their families in Scotland for more than six years as part of its Shoulder to Shoulder project, recruiting 250 volunteers to support those who are struggling to adjust to civilian life, and reducing their social and economic isolation.

For the past 18 months, funding from FiMT has enabled TimeBank to pilot an online mentoring programme for veterans and their families living throughout Scotland. An external evaluation found this helped veterans establish stability and routine, and achieve positive change in their lives. Online mentoring was found to have significant value as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, when it was vital to reducing isolation with much face-to-face support unavailable.

Now TimeBank plans to work with SSAFA to explore how its learning and practice from the Shoulder to Shoulder project can be incorporated into the SSAFA mentoring programme, which works alongside the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the British Army, the Royal Air Force and other key partners.

Says TimeBank chief executive Phil Pyatt: ‘This is what TimeBank is all about – trying out new ideas about volunteering and developing them into successful projects. The huge success of Shoulder to Shoulder has demonstrated the tremendous contribution that volunteers can make. Now it’s time to share our learning and expertise to take it to the next level and consolidate it into wider veterans’ support services in Scotland.’

Gary Williams, head of specialist services at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, continues: ‘We are looking forward to working with TimeBank to learn as much as we can to further develop our mentoring service. Learning from the experiences of TimeBank will help us ensure that any online or virtual service we offer is the best it can be and safe for those that use it. Our service is well established in helping those who have recently left the Forces, and their families, understand and prosper during the transition to civilian life.’

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of FiMT, adds: ‘We are delighted to be supporting this important project. We know that TimeBank’s mentoring programmes have a positive impact on the well-being of ex-Service personnel. Now, TimeBank and SSAFA can work in collaboration to ensure that Service leavers have access to effective mentoring to support them through the transition process. It’s through supporting projects like this that we can work towards FiMT’s vision of all ex-Service personnel and their families living fulfilled civilian lives.’


About TimeBank

TimeBank is a national volunteering charity that launched in 2000. It recruits and trains volunteers to deliver projects to tackle complex social problems. It also works with businesses to engage their staff in volunteering. TimeBank believes that great volunteering can transform the lives of both volunteers and beneficiaries by building stronger, happier and more inclusive communities.


SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. In 2019, our teams of volunteers and employees helped more than 85,000 people in need, the currently serving (both regulars and reserves), veterans from the Second World War and those who have served in more recent conflicts, as well as their families. SSAFA understands that behind every uniform is a person. And we are here for that person – any time they need us, in any way they need us, for as long as they need us. If you would like to find out more about SSAFA’s Mentoring service, please click here to visit our website.

About Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT)

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) was founded in November 2011 by a £35 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund (now the National Lottery Community Fund). As a member of Cobseo – the confederation of service charities – and a permanent member of its executive committee, FiMT works within the Armed Forces charities sector, and much more widely, to support the UK’s Armed Forces community.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life. FiMT delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery, and by strengthening the Armed Forces charities sector through collaboration and leadership, and by building its capacity.

FiMT’s grants and commissions are designed to generate sustained change that improves the lives of ex-Service personnel and their families. FiMT awards grants to support its Change Model based on seven outcomes: Housing, Employment, Health, Finance, Criminal Justice System, Relationships, and its Enabler programme.

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