More help available for vulnerable veterans in Kent

Project Nova launches new partnership with Kent Police

Project Nova recently partnered with Kent Police to provide support to vulnerable veterans in the Kent region.

Project Nova, delivered by the Forces Employment Charity, is a unique programme which offers help to veterans who come into contact with the justice system – from risk of arrest, entering police custody, to release from prison. It also supports veterans who have self-referred or been referred by specialist police teams or other statutory organisations, because they are at risk of arrest or identified as vulnerable.

For most veterans, the transition to civilian life is usually successful. Sadly, for some, the transition can be less smooth and factors such as housing problems and homelessness, debt, health issues such as mental illness and PTSD, or drug and alcohol misuse, can lead some veterans to be at risk of offending, or experiencing vulnerabilities.

The Ministry of Justice and Her Majesties Inspector of Prisons estimate that between 4% and 6% of the prison population is made up of veterans. Crimes committed vary but can have an impact on the wider community, making Project Nova an important point of intervention and support.

Colin Back, National Manager for Project Nova says, “We know from our extensive experience of working with veterans across the UK, that ex-Forces can be reluctant to engage with mainstream support services, as they do not feel that their life experience is well understood. With the support of Kent Police we can help vulnerable local veterans by preventing them from reaching the point of arrest, by tackling the social issues at the root cause of social unrest. This will, in turn, improve the lives of everyone in the Kent area, and beyond, by reducing offending amongst those who have Served.”

Assistant Chief Constable Tracey Harman from Kent Police added, “We are delighted to have partnered up with Project Nova. This programme will provide the much needed support to veterans of the armed forces, to make changes to their lives and access support through health and specialist services.”

Upon receiving a referral, Project Nova caseworkers undertake a holistic needs assessment to establish what support is required by the individual, followed by emotional and practical support offered through a network of services, statutory organisations, and charities. Project Nova caseworkers understand the experiences of ex-Service personnel both during and after their military careers – empathy which gives veterans the strength they need to make positive changes to their lives.

In addition to Kent, Project Nova has been rolled out across the East of England, the North East, the North West, Lincoln, Devon and Cornwall and South Yorkshire and Humberside.

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