Ex-Service Personnel and their families in Merseyside receive a massive boost:

Mental Health Support Provider, The Beacon Counselling Trust, in partnership with major social care provider Local Solutions, have received a massive boost to their Ex-service personnel and families programme “RESTORE”, with a near £300,000 grant award from The Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund.

Picture: Restore Patron Lord David Alton and the Team from Beacon and Local Solutions with the Grant Cheque from The Big Lottery.

Neil Platt the Clinical Programmes Director at Beacon and ex 4 PARA said “this is a fantastic opportunity for us to be able to support our ex-service personnel and their families, there are many misconceptions about mental health problems within the Armed Forces community, the focus is regularly on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when, in fact, other problems such as alcohol misuse, depression and family and social issues are much more of a problem, these two organisations working together will springboard support in Merseyside”

The award will help fund a number of major initiatives to support ex-service personnel and their families over the next three years

WO2 Mick Gleason an Iraq Veteran said “I have been receiving help from RESTORE for nearly three years now, they do so much brilliant work, this funding will help them to develop a number of much needed programmes in Liverpool”

The start of these initiatives will see a FREE Counselling Service being offered to ex-service personnel and their families.

There will also be the delivery of the first Mental Health First Aid course for the Armed Forces Community in the UK. This programme has been specifically designed for the Armed Forces Community following considerable research, development and funding from MHFA, SSAFA, Combat Stress and The Royal British Legion. This course is available to not only ex-service personnel but also their families and organisations that work with this group

Dr Sharon McDonnell, from the Centre for Mental Health and Risk at Manchester University said “The Mental Health Training provided by Beacon is excellent, I learnt so much, this training will be a huge help to the Armed Forces Community”

Details of other initiatives from the RESTORE programme including a Peer Support Service and a Carers Programme for ex-service personnel and their families along with information on the FREE Christmas Hamper Programme and RESTORE APP can all be found on the Beacon website www.beaconcounsellingtrust.co.uk

To contact the RESTORE Programme please ring on 0151-226-0696 or 07506-762949 or email us at restore@beaconcounsellingtrust.co.uk

Steve Hawkins, Chief Executive, Local Solutions commented: ‘we look forward to working in partnership with Beacon Counselling Trust on this initiative which will provide much needed support for many ex-service personnel and their families’