Donation to Walking with the Wounded First Steps programme: 2015, 2016, 2017
DDMT is immensely proud to have provided a commitment of £5,000 pa for three years from 2015 (a total of £15,000) for the Walking with the Wounded "First Steps" programme which addresses the needs of ex-service personnel suffering with mental injuries and then, following necessary therapy assists veterans into the First Steps employment programme.
Since 2013 many successful employment outcomes for veterans have been achieved. Indeed a report received by DDMT in July 2016 informs that 94 veterans were supported in 2015; and our donation funded courses in becoming a Locksmith, in Chainsaw maintenance, in Category C HGV driving and others either leading to a career or from which employment has been found.
Two recent case studies illustrate the life-changing effect of the programme. Anam was discharged from the Army in 2012 having suffered a lower back injury and a head injury which resulted in him losing his sight in 2011. Understandable despair and loss of confidence followed until Blind Veterans UK introduced him to JAWS, a software programme for the visually impaired, which has given him the confidence to take a computer course funded by "First Steps". Exams are due before Christmas 2015 but it was the support from Walking with the Wounded that gave him the confidence and determination to complete the course.
The other case study concerns Aidan who had served with the Household Cavalry for 6 years but struggled adapting to civilian life after leaving. He ended up sofa surfing before becoming homeless and living in a tent until he was introduced to Walking with the Wounded. Mental health issues are currently being addressed and have improved dramatically since he started the programme. Aidan has started engaging with others, making friends and building his ability to trust as he has grown with support. He has spent time working on fundraising and construction programmes with Walking with the Wounded and is fully engaged with his Home Straight employment mentor to determine his future career path.
Other successful graduates of the programme are electricians, plumbers, teachers, nurses, landscape gardeners, prosthetic specialists, equine therapists and specialist dog handlers and an artist.
A core element of the Walking with the Wounded programme is to access the most in accessible and to stop the "downward spiral" into which some fall. The ultimate aim is to enable veterans to gain employment and be financially independent.
"The primary benefit ....is that whether an individual is suffering with mental injury in Hampshire, homeless in Glasgow or is in police custody in Newcastle once they have been identified and are being supported they can feed into our re-training programme. Once their injuries and/or social challenges are overcome, we can take them through the next step into employment and long term security, alleviating illness, hardship, disability and/or poverty".
From Walking With the Wounded "First Steps" promotional literature.
We would love to hear from you if you know of any soldier (whether current or past), family member or any project that might benefit from our help.