A community project set up by Sale Sharks Community Trust to help ex-forces personnel reintegrate back into society is set to expand its work into a prison and areas of Merseyside and North Lancashire following a funding boost.
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is partnering with the Trust following the success of the Sharks Forces programme over the past 24 months, which has provided support to more than 500 military veterans and their families across the North West.
As part of the partnership, a new project called ‘Life outside the Camo’ has been set up in order to increase the reach of the programme and help younger ex-service personnel, as well as their families.
The new project will see the Trust working directly with Berwyn Prison in Wrexham, providing support and advice to anyone currently serving a prison sentence with a military background.
Ex-servicemen and women in the Merseyside and North Lancashire area will also benefit from increased support, as the Trust hopes to expand the reach of the project and help even more people across the region.
“The fundamental aim of the new ‘Life outside the Camo’ project is to help give ex-service personnel a sense of belonging in their local communities,” said Craig Monaghan, a former army soldier who helps deliver the Sharks Forces programme.
“We’re particularly looking to help those aged around 40 or younger as I know from experience that at this age, the transition to civilian life can be difficult and there’s often a real stigma attached to asking for help.
“We’ve got some amazing success stories from our work with military veterans already through Sharks Forces, and we can’t wait to build on that with this new project and the support of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.”
Brigadier (Ret’d) Robin Bacon, Chief of Staff at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, added: “Strong communities can become a fundamental key to helping veterans on their journey after they leave the Army. They provide an important network, a sense of belonging and create a great space for joy with others. We are pleased to be helping Sale Sharks Community Trust with the programme and their work.”