What is Remember Veterans?

Remember Veterans is an Armed Forces Covenant funded service. It aims to embed the practice of asking the Armed Forces question 'Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Armed Forces?' into local criminal justice agencies. By asking this question, criminal justice agencies can then ensure that the veterans they are working with can be referred and signposted into the most appropriate support services. It does not mean the veteran gets a lighter prison sentence or community order, but instead means they can access specialised support through military charities, including the Royal British legion, SSAF and Combat Stress.

Remember Veterans is overseen by the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner. YSS works in partnership with Ubique Partnerships and the Veterans Contact Point in Nuneaton to deliver the project across West Mercia and Warwickshire.

 

How does Remember Veterans help?

The service provides a series of briefings and awareness raising sessions to criminal justice staff teams. These teams include police, probation (CRC & NPS), magistrates, drug & alcohol recovery teams, accommodation providers and debt and benefit agencies. From these meetings, staff then volunteer to become Remember Veterans (RV) Champions and commit to ensuring their colleagues have a point of contact if they have any questions around working with veterans. The RV project also has a dedicated referral helpline service which is manned by veterans. Anyone working with a veteran in the criminal justice system is encouraged to refer their service user to the helpline to access peer support.

The service has also implemented a data collection process. Police, Prisons, NPS and CRC provide YSS with monthly statistics around how many veterans have been arrested, remanded into custody, released on prison licence or sentenced at court to a community order. This data allows us to have a much clearer understanding around what the numbers of veterans in the criminal justice system are in our local area, what are the type of offences they have committed, what may have led them to committing the offences and what sort of support they need.

The project has a dedicated website which professionals, veterans, and the general public can access: www.remember-veterans.com

 

What difference does Remember Veterans make? 

Since April 2016 Remember Veterans has provided awareness briefings to more than 950 frontline staff, whilst RV Trainers have provided Remember Veterans Champions Training to 134 staff from across criminal justice agencies and other organisations supporting veterans. 98% of the feedback collated from attendees rated the training as either Excellent (78%) or Good (20%). In the same time frame, 20 RV Peer Support Volunteers have been trained, and 12 case studies have been collected and shared on the Remember Veterans website. 

 

Hear what real people have to say: 

J continues to remain chaotic and he continues to drink heavily, however, he attends most appointments, so we are able to continue to work intensively to address his attitude, thinking and behaviour. We have worked tirelessly to prevent him losing his accommodation and to try and get him his benefits up and running. We have recently heard he has been turned down for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) so he will be deemed fit for work and be advised to claim Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). We will continue to support him to appeal against this decision as he is clearly not fit for work due to his substance misuse and all the while we will be encouraging him to make the right choices, address his issues and prevent him from reoffending.

 

B has recently informed his Offender Manager that he did not know where he would be without the support from YSS, RV and the IOM team. He feels he benefits from having an understanding and directive approach, saying 'it has given me a kick in the backside when it has been needed'. B would not have achieved any of the tasks he had originally set out to achieve without support.