A small sub-committee has been working to develop our policy and practice towards a plan for a series of family weekends. These will take place in Dundee, Stirling, Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Borders over the next 2 years. We have just produced leaflets inviting families to contact us about how best to shape our approach. Additional leaflets will follow asking for participants.
The weekends will be for any families where the ex-Forces family member has mental health issues. They will include the whole family. Each partner will work separately to begin with. Stand Easy will use drama techniques to lead participants to feel safe,. As well as helping them to share their feelings/issues with others, and express them in appropriate ways. How this will happen will depend on the make-up of each individual group. The older children will work on a film project. Using iPads and mobile phones, they will put together a film with the same aims as the adults. There will also be a creche provided for the younger children.
We have secured substantial funding to run a 2-year programme, as part of a consortium bid initiated by Stand Easy and led by Veterans First Point Scotland. The other charities involved are Horseback UK, the Lothian Veterans Centre, Fares4Free, Rock to Recovery, and The Coming Home Centre (Glasgow). The role of our partners will be to help us find participants, as well as supporting them before and after the weekends (especially where geographically we’re not able to). This successful partnership emerged from a group of us smaller charities, getting together under the title of ‘The Coalface Conference’. We continue to meet in this way with the wider Forces charities community.
We’re also delighted to announce that working on our families initiative for the next 3 months will be Jasmine Wood. A research student from Strathclyde University, she has specialised in research on wounds seen and unseen during the conflicts of the 1900’s and 2000’s. She hopes to eventually work in the Forces Charity sector.
Our thanks to The Armed Forces Covenant and the Veterans Foundation for funding this strand of our programmes.