Honour our armed forces by offering lasting support to veterans
At Cyrenians, we believe really strongly in the ‘No Wrong Door’ approach to support – whoever you turn to for help, you should be actively being connected to the support you need, not told ‘we don’t do that here, go back to square one’. By building networks like the SWVA, we’re helping make sure that people engaging with any one of our 18 member organisations can connect with the specific support offered by others in the network. We’re also making sure that the expertise of organisations in the Alliance working with groups whose needs are often overlooked – organisations like Fighting With Pride, or SSAFA - is more fully reflected in all of our work, making sure that we’re all able to take into account the needs of LGBTQ+ veterans, younger veterans, those with dementia or physical disability, people experiencing homelessness, and others with complex needs.
On Armed Forces Day, yes, we should celebrate the hard work done by those who serve. But we can’t just leave it at a parade and a party – if we believe in celebrating our servicepeople, and if we truly appreciate the work they do and the sacrifices they make for their country, we owe them lasting, meaningful support after they leave service. And that means taking a joined-up approach to supporting everyone leaving the Forces – from their first steps onto Civvy Street to support for them and their families to build community, deal with trauma and injury, and find a positive future for decades to come.
Happy Armed Forces Day to everyone who’s serving, everyone who has served, and their families and loved ones – and I hope we’ll see some of you at our SWVA activities and events going forward!