“I have had 5 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.”
On completion of the Ski Week, our Veterans enter the Mentoring Programme, established in June 2014. This is a structured programme whereby each Veteran is allocated a dedicated mentor to support their return to meaningful civilian life and employment. At present, most of the Veterans on the Mentoring and Employment Programmes have participated in the Ski-Habilitation Week. In future years, we will be growing the scheme to respond to requests to provide mentors for people who, for a multitude of reasons, are unable to come on the Ski Week.
We believe SWV makes a difference by supporting our wounded veterans for as long as they need.
To do this we offer individual mentoring support for each beneficiary. These mentors can provide
help with professional and business matters but also with personal challenges. Help identify goals
and tackle the barriers, professional or personal, leading to a more fulfilled life. Transitioning from
military to civilian life can be a complex time for veterans. Often mentors can just be someone that
they can confide in and work through their problems with. All mentors are volunteers and provide
their services for free. Each mentor, after a selection process, attends four training sessions each
year, meets their Veteran quarterly and speaks to him or her once a week. The process may
continue long after the Veteran gains employment, to enable Veterans to stay in employment.
“My mentor has helped me sew the weeks together.”
Since 2013, we have had a total of 135 mentors. In 2018 95% of our ski week veterans chose to have a mentor once the week was over, in order to receive on-going support in their lives. 80% of veterans who chose to have a mentor during their time on the PMP found that their mentor positively impacted on them.
It is also our intention that the charity will work more closely with other charities to provide collaborative mentoring facilities, given the proven success of SWV’s existing activity.
The cost of mentoring each Veteran is £800 per annum which represents the cost of the mentors’ training days, the Veterans’ and mentors’ quarterly travel costs, the costs of an administrator and a part-time secretary, and printing. 85% of the Veterans we help remain engaged with a mentor for over a year.