More than a hundred veterans, supporters and partner agencies gathered to celebrate the success of Change Step and Listen In at an emotionally-charged gathering in Cardiff.
An uplifting afternoon at Portland House reflected on the achievements of the programme since its launch throughout Wales last year.
- Brigadier Martyn Gamble, Commander of the 160th Infantry Brigade and head of the Army in Wales, praise Change Step’s sustained record of working with veterans in need;
- Darren Millar AM, chair of the Cross-Party Group on the Armed Forces and Cadets, call for support for the programme across the political spectrum ahead of National Assembly elections next year;
- Veterans’ NHS Wales lead clinician Dr Neil Kitchiner praise Change Step for supporting veterans in their own homes and communities, and in areas other services can’t reach;
- Lead peer mentor for South Wales Steve Stokoe champion Change Step’s seamless partnership working with other agencies; and
- peer mentor Jason Samuels earn a standing ovation with a moving poem outlining the impact Change Step can have on the lives of veterans.
More than 800 veterans and their loved ones have been helped by Change Step so far – many of them suffering from complex problems including mental health, housing, psychosocial, criminal justice and substance misuse issues. Mentors, volunteers and Listen In development officers were rewarded for their hard work in a special ceremony, with certificates presented by Brig Gamble.
The afternoon also featured the premiere of a new promotional film, designed to help spread the message of Change Step and Listen In.
Change Step director Geraint Jones said the well-received event had outlined the successes of the programme while focussing attention on its next steps.
We were delighted to be joined by so many colleagues and friends to celebrate the achievements of Change Step and Listen In.
Our team is focussed on continuing the success of our veteran-to-veteran peer mentoring approach by providing targeted interventions as part of an improved end-to-end support pathway.
We will support veterans for as long as they need it and want to continue to provide a unique service which acts as the glue between our partner agencies.Geraint Jones
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