Creating lasting benefits at Exeter’s Armed Forces Community Support Hub
Posted on: 12 August 2020
Coronavirus made a lot of services rapidly re-think the way that they provide support to people who need them.
Changes were adopted quickly and new ways of staying connected with people remotely while providing the support they still need were implemented.
One might have assumed that those changes were temporary. But not necessarily so.
Many changes have shown us better ways of reaching and supporting people. It would be a backward step just to automatically go back to the way things used to be done, without re-evaluating.
Just so, the Armed Forces Community Support Hub in Exeter.
Changes they have made since coronavirus – supporting veterans and their families across Devon, some have complex mental health conditions such as PTSD, depression and anxiety – have made lasting improvements.
Unable to provide their usual face-to-face support, they used money from our COVID-19 Prompt Action Fund to help over 200 veterans and their families access online activities and meetings during lockdown, designed to help combat isolation, improve mental health and lessen anxieties.
So successful is it, that the project is now looking to continue the virtual support sessions, in addition to their usual services, even when restrictions ease further.
They also bought smart phones to loan to veterans who were otherwise unable to access support during lockdown. Hub volunteers showed them how to use them and taught them new digital skills to do things, like apply for jobs online and stay connected.