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"I have volunteered with Walking With The Wounded on many occasions so I felt it was the natural thing for me to step up from being a regular volunteer to spear head an event or two. Part of my degree is undertaking a work placement in my third year and I felt that OP-REGEN would be best suited for this as gives me an insight to what the working day would entail and I will gain the necessary soft skills which are paramount for a human-centred working environment."
- Bjorn, OP-REGEN Captain
OP-REGEN is a volunteering project that offers a platform for ex-military personnel to recognise their inherent skills and empowers them to demonstrate these skills to the wider community. For those that have landed on hard times, the project aims to support these individuals and their families to reintegrate back into society and to have a meaningful positive impact on the environment in which they reside; additionally, for those not in employment the projects aims to assist in their journey back into the workplace.
Although focused on ex-military, more generally the project is supported by volunteers from all backgrounds including Corporate UK and encourages these individuals to work together, leading to a greater increase in community cohesion and safer neighborhoods.
OP-REGEN embodies the future ambitions of
walking with the wounded to support ex-military seeking support and to find
those that require support but are not seeking it.
Q. What is OP-REGEN?
A. OP-REGEN provides a platform for ex-military personnel and their families to re-integrate back into society and have a meaningful positive impact on their communities and the environment on their doorsteps. The aim is build confidence within ex-military personnel and help them on their individual journey back into employment.
Many ex-military find themselves upon returning to civilian life, that they are living in new unfamiliar locations with limited support networks. This can impact negatively on various aspects of health and can lead to social isolation. OP-REGEN aims to address this through the use of promoting volunteering opportunities, without barriers to participation, tailored to meet the skills and desire of each individual in a safe and supportive environment.
Q. Where is OP-REGEN based?
A. OP-REGEN is currently operating out of Walking With The Wounded’s offices in Manchester.
Q. What does the OP-REGEN Project Manager do?
A. The OP-REGEN Project Manager’s role is to develop, manage and coordinate the delivery of OP-REGEN by working with a range of key partners and funders. This includes working with the OP-REGEN Project Officer to engage local veterans and work with them to develop plans to make environmental improvements to their communities. This is done through a training and support programme for volunteer veterans to become Captains who engage with local residents to co-create, organise and promote environmental improvement activities in their local areas.
Q. What does the OP-REGEN Project Officer do?
A. The OP-REGEN Project Officer works within the local area to recruit OP-REGEN volunteers and Captains, to ensure they have the skills to deliver community focused regeneration events. They also liaise with local councils and organisations to help support OP-REGEN Captains to access work related opportunities to prepare them for paid employment.
Q. Who can volunteer with OP-REGEN?
A. Anyone can be a OP-REGEN volunteer if they take part in community events organised by OP-REGEN Captains. The minimum age is 6, with children aged between 6-18 being accompanied by a parent/guardian.
Q. What are OP-REGEN Captains?
A. OP-REGEN Captains are ex-military veterans who have signed a Volunteer Agreement and have undertaken the necessary training to deliver events in their area, OP-REGEN Captains form and lead community groups to do this as well as other activities.
Q. What are the benefits of becoming an OP-REGEN Captain?
A. OP-REGEN Captains receive support from OP-REGEN to developing their existing skills, as well as gaining new ones. This is intended to provide the work experience they need to re-join the paid employment workforce, as well as build community cohesion by setting up groups in their local area to tackle environmental issues. This is aimed to reduce the sense of social isolation that some ex-military veterans experience.
Q. How can I sign up to be an OP-REGEN Captain?
A. Anyone wishing to become an OP-REGEN Captain should contact their local OP-REGEN Project Officer, this can be done by approaching Walking With The Wounded who will put them in touch with the right person.
Q. I work for a company that would like to support OP-REGEN, how can I do this?
A. Companies should speak to the OP-REGEN Project Manager who will be able to discuss what kind of contribution you want to make and formalise any agreements,
Q. I would like to see OP-REGEN active in my community, how can I make this happen?
A. The OP-REGEN Project Manager will be able to check for any OP-REGEN events taking place in your local community and put you in touch with the OP-REGEN Captain leading them, alternatively they can support your enquiry by engaging with potential OP-REGEN Captains and encouraging them to sign up. For more information, click here.