A consortium of six military welfare and veteran support charities have joined together to launch the Aged Veterans Counselling Service.
Offering free counselling and support for aged veterans, their families and carers, the service is now open to any UK veteran born before 1 January 1950 and will provide help to people suffering a range of issues including depression, anxiety, loneliness, bereavement or anything causing a sense of isolation, loss or social exclusion.
“I didn’t think I would like counselling but I really hit it off with the counsellor and thought she was very skilled. The sessions helped me through my bereavement and gave me the space to grieve. My improved attitude helped my walking get better too. I had poo-pooed counselling before but this time I saw positive results within 4 weeks of starting. I even recommended counselling to others.” The wife of a blind veteran who also received support from the service.
The project is funded by the MoD’s Aged Veterans Fund and the consortium is led by Blind Veterans UK who are joined by BLESMA The Limbless Veterans, Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Naval Association, Scottish War Blinded and STOLL. Working with Wellbeing Solutions Management, who will be running the counselling service, they are aiming to help 1,000 aged veterans per year.
Julie McCarthy, Head of Welfare Policy at Blind Veterans UK, who set the similar ongoing project in 2012 said,
“Our service through Blind Veterans UK provided counselling to more than 600 veterans and their immediate family and carers. Wellbeing Solutions Management provided over 5,000 sessions of counselling, 80% of which were home visit counselling sessions. It is absolutely fantastic that veterans’ welfare charities have been able to come together to expand this service and provide a vital lifeline for all aged veterans across the country”.
To find out more about the services please visit or call Wellbeing Solutions on 020 7708 5000.