“I have had five years of nothing but hospital visits and being told negative, and scary, things about what was going to happen to my life. This is the first time for a long time that I have been treated as a human being with the chance for a positive future. The boost to my confidence and self-belief has been massive.”
Transitioning from military to civilian life can be a complex time for veterans. Trained mentors can provide help with professional and business matters, and with personal challenges. They can assist in identifying goals, and tackling professional or personal barriers, leading to a more fulfilled life.
Our mentor programme was launched in 2014, and was originally offered to veterans completing our Ski Week with nearly all of them taking up this offer. It is now expanded and offered to all veterans across our pathways.
“My mentor has helped me to sew the weeks together.”
It is a structured programme with each veteran allocated a dedicated mentor to support their return to meaningful civilian life and employment. The process may continue long after a veteran gains employment, and the vast majority of mentoring relationships last beyond a year.
Mentors are someone a veteran can confide in and work through their problems with, and the difference they make is often considerable. 80% of veterans on our Pain Management Programme who had a mentor said it had benefited them.
We also train mentors. Each mentor, after a selection process, attends four training sessions each year, meets their veteran quarterly and speaks to them once a week.
The cost of mentoring each veteran is c. £800 per annum which represents the cost of the mentors’ training days, travel costs, administration and materials.
A mentor's perspective
Alice Bromage is a business owner from London and one of SWV's mentors.
"After 20 years in the British Army I recognised that there is an amazing pool of talent amongst the military that often goes untapped. I wanted to ensure that I could offer something back into the system, and as I was starting my coaching and mentoring business and this provided the perfect opportunity.
"I have a close friend who was paralysed in the military and has been involved in the charity for several years. I new that SWV was a charity with a set of strong moral values and would get things done.
"Mentoring has been an absolute pleasure and honour from day one. Seeing the transformation of my mentee from being unable to leave his home to running his own profitable business has been unbelievably rewarding. Providing morale support, helping him become comfortable as a business owner and learn how to bring and develop his own expertise and passion into his business has brought great rewards to us both."