News – March 2019
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Website Issues

Ironically, the first bit of news is that our website has been down after some issues, happily now resolved.  Sorry for any inconvenience, and thanks to all those who helped us get it all back on track – especially Alf.

Could you be our next Committee Member?

Could you be Stand Easy’s newest committee member?  Our committee is the heart of Stand Easy and helps to keep us focused.  We need new members who can commit just a little time to work with us regularly.  If you are interested, please get in touch on email: standeasyproductions@gmail.com

Terminology

At our last committee meeting, we had an interesting discussion about how the way we describe things can impact others. We have decided to start using the term ‘ex-Forces’ instead of ‘Veteran’, as younger people leaving the Forces associate the word ‘Veteran’ with older service leavers. This is in line with a number of Forces organisations and Charities. 

On a similar note, we are now using the phrase ‘Post Traumatic Stress’ rather than ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’.  ‘PTSD’ is still the actual clinical description, but for us, the word ‘disorder’ can have negative feelings associated with it.

We apologise to those who might be upset by this but is more and more becoming standard practice, and we absolutely feel it is for the best.

Focus Day

On Wednesday 13th February, we began another experiment, when ex-Forces participants, staff and volunteers, from both Dundee and Stirling, got together at the D & A College in Dundee. We spent the day in different groups looking at what we do well, and how we can improve.  It was an enjoyable day and we are already putting into practice some very positive ideas that evolved. The group of ex-Forces participants also successfully discussed the subject matter for our May performance project. In fact so successfully, we almost had a play by the end of it! Our thanks to everyone for making the effort to attend, and also to the College for providing us with the accommodation.

Weekly Workshops.

Dundee: These continue successfully and we have just welcomed a 92 year old WW2 ex-Para.  Our workshop leaders are now Khailey, Chloe and Josef – all ex-students from the D & A College.  Our wonderful student volunteers are Ria, Will and Rachel.  They all do a great job – so thank you to them.

Stirling: The group finished the last year with a performance of their devised play:  ‘I Remember’.  This was a touching gathering of memories and stories.

Thanks to everyone who attends and supports us at all our workshops, with special thanks to the Veterans Foundation and the Corra Foundation for funding us this year.

Stand Easy Family Initiative
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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.