Everton in the Community has launched a new programme designed specifically to support women from the military with the transition back to civilian life.
Made possible thanks to funding received from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust’s Reaching and Supporting Armed Forces Communities programme, ‘Stand By Her’ is a two-year programme dedicated to engaging female veterans into accessing wraparound support services post military service. The programme will provide women with the opportunity to reconnect with other veterans socially, help to improve physical health through sport and holistic methods and provide signposting and access to mental, physical and social health services.
Stand By Her was officially launched with an event at The People’s Place this week for key stakeholders, current and potential participants and veteran support organisations and provided attendees with an insight into the programme and the support it will provide as well as giving them the opportunity to hear from female veterans about their time serving and the impact they believe the new programme will deliver.
Following on from the presentation, guests were also given the chance to take part in a series of breakout activities including a show and tell, hearing from combat medics and seeing military kit and equipment first-hand.
Delivered weekly from The People’s Place, Stand By Her is a military and gender-specific-needs-led programme and is open to all women who served in the Tri-Service regular and reserve forces across the Liverpool City Region. It has been developed through working directly with female veterans and will be delivered by EitC Veterans Coordinator, Nikki McGee, who also a veteran herself.
Sessions will provide a safe space for women to share their military journeys, lived experiences and receive peer-to-peer support. The programme will provide support for women who have left the military but may still need help and want to remain connected to their military family.
Stand By Her will also support veterans who have experienced challenges whilst transitioning to civilian life, struggled to locate the right support network and perhaps struggled to have their voices heard and Everton in the Community can ensure they offer gender and military specific support when needed as well as taking a preventative approach through the programme activities to reduce the likelihood of ill health.
Everton in the Community Veterans Coordinator, Nikki McGee, said: “As an Army veteran myself I know the challenges faced when transitioning out of the forces. I never accessed any support because there wasn’t anything available for women veterans and so we often just get on with things.
“Stand By Her will provide women with a safe space to reconnect, to share, to have a voice and to be recognised as a veteran whilst being surrounded by strong like-minded women. I am very proud to have the opportunity to design and lead this much-needed programme and would like to thank the Armed Forces Covenant Fund for its ongoing support of our work in supporting veterans.”
Sonia Howe, Director of Policy and Communications at the Trust, said: “Our Reaching and Supporting Armed Forces Communities programme supports projects that are specific and targeted in their approach to supporting the Forces community – in particular where hidden or compelling needs have been identified. The ‘Stand By Her’ project from Everton in the Community seeks to engage female veterans in wrap-around post-Service support and we were delighted to see co-design of the project with those who will take part. We wish Everton in the Community much success in delivering this project and we can’t wait to hear how things develop!”
💙 Today, we launch Stand by Her - Supporting Women of the Military.— Everton in the Community (@EITC) May 3, 2023
🗣️ Here's Project Support Worker, Nikki McGee who spoke to @SarahHalpin9 last week on what the project will aim to achieve and how it will support female veterans. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/QnslVd0dz9
The official charity of Everton Football Club has been directly supporting veterans across Merseyside since 2010 and its military support provision has grown to encompass targeted work supporting a wide range of veteran specific issues including those in prison, bereaved families and aged veterans with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Research shows that women veterans have an increased occurrence of poor physical health behaviours and have often experienced challenges in the military which they are not comfortable talking about with male comrades meaning they often become a hidden group which may experience poor physical and mental health outcomes as a result. With more than 10 per cent of the veteran population being women, it was apparent there was a vital need for this new programme to be established and delivered within a dedicated hub where participants have access to full wraparound care and professionals.
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust is a charity and an MOD sponsored NDPB that manages the grant programmes funded by the Covenant Fund. They also run wider funding programmes that support the Armed Forces community. To find out more about the Trust, visit their website covenantfund.org.uk
To find out more about Stand By Her and/or register your interest please contact Nikki McGee, EitC Veterans Coordinator, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07813 996788.