Forgotten Veterans UK
Forgotten Veterans UK (FVUK) is a Portsmouth based charity, supporting those currently serving in the Armed Forces, veterans and their families within the PO1 to PO6 postcode areas, as well as nationally throughout the UK. Until very recently the charity was entirely run and staffed by volunteers, but funding from NHS England has now been provided to pay for the employment of both a full time Social Prescriber and a Health & Social Care Apprentice. FVUK offer crisis support to veterans including respite stays and a crisis helpline. They also offer a wide range of practical help from providing emergency food parcels, to assistance with completing benefit claims and appeals, and signposting to other specialist sources of support or specific service charities.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
All staff are trained in suicide awareness and suicide prevention. Forgotten Veterans UK has a 24hr crisis line that is available for veterans and their families. FVUK are in partnership with the Military Mental Health Alliance and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust. The charity also works alongside many other organisations such as Veterans Outreach Support, Society Of St James, Inclusion and many more.
What are your current priorities?
Forgotten Veterans UK has a Basha Retreat in Portsmouth, offering crisis intervention services and monthly group camps for veterans. FVUK also has a Buddy scheme, offering peer to peer remote support nationally.
What challenges are you currently facing?
The charity is currently facing an increase in calls for our services, particularly for those with complex mental health issues who have suicidal ideations or tendencies. Reports from the media show that the amount of people suffering from depression has doubled during lockdown, with 1 in 10 men feeling close to suicide, however, we know that 40% of our clients have attempted or considered suicide.