I was happy to be invited to drop in at the weekly Veterans Integrated Service (VIS) meeting at St Matthew’s on Oak Street last week.
The Veterans Integrated Service and an organisation called Outside the Wire – which specialises in rehabilitation for veterans- work in partnership. It was great to get the opportunity to show my support for these projects.
It was good to see that despite the current challenging environment for all charities, VIS still offers veterans follow-on support and high-quality services.
Gary, a VIS service user suffering from Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, had become exasperated with telling his story repeatedly and seeing no progress or access to help. Since linking up with VIS and Outside the Wire, he hasn’t had to repeat his story again. He is surrounded by people who inherently understand what he has been through, and he now feels like part of a family.
I’m a military veteran, so all of this resonates with me. Funding for the VIS drop-in runs out in June. Suppose the service doesn’t get the cash to continue. In that case, Norwich veterans will lose a vital safe space to feel understood and socialise as a group with their shared experience.