Armed forces veteransEmma is proud to be working with Forward Assist a North East charity helping veteran’s transition into civilian life. Emma is supporting their research into female veterans. Often Veterans services  are geared towards males and whilst it is right that male veterans receive support it is important that we have services in place for our female veterans too.

Dr Helen Limon based at Newcastle University is carrying out the research with female veterans in a bid to create gender specific support. Female veterans are often hidden and marginalised, and previously have only been able to find support from male focused groups. It is hoped that the research and subsequent programme, which will be the first of its kind in the UK, will hopefully offer a blueprint for other charities and organisations.

Sarah Lattaway, project lead at Forward Assist said that,” When looking to do the research project we knew that female veterans were a hidden population but in fact we found it was much worse, they were virtually invisible. We have brought together a group of female veterans who are very committed to helping the project and use their experience to determine what gender specific support is needed.”

As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group into Social Work, Emma welcomed the research and the potential dramatic changes to veteran’s aftercare that could be created.

Emma said, “As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group into Social Work, we recently conducted an inquiry into mental health, as part of this we looked at the mental health of veterans and current provision. Both male and female veterans often face very complex problems when making the enormous transition back into civilian life. They have often experienced severe physical and mental trauma and when financial problems and difficulties re-integrating into family life are thrown into the mix, it requires a complex care response. At the moment, the level of care is inadequate and requires new ways to improve care. It is shameful that many of our veterans have to rely on charities to meet their needs. Being left high and dry has resulted in some former members of the armed forces entering prison and some have taken their own lives. Given the sacrifices they have made for us, Government has a duty of care to all our service personnel both as active members and veterans.”

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