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Supporting Op COURAGE

Royal Marines veteran, Tom Knight, WWTW North West Regional Manager, reflects on his role at WWTW and his own transition from the Armed Forces to working with veterans in the North West and the impact he and his team are having on veterans in the region.

My name is Tom Knight and I am the Regional Manager in the North West for Walking With The Wounded. I served in the Royal Marines, leaving the service in 2014. My military career was certainly a busy one. I deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan (Telic & Herrick), completed the Arctic Warfare training in Norway and travelled around the world on various training exercises. The latter half of my career saw me specialise in Heavy Weapons where I was trained on  Air Defence missiles. I joined Walking With The Wounded in 2015 and the aspect that I enjoy most about working for the organisation is being able to work alongside colleagues who have also served in the Armed Forces and civilians. Each contributing with different talents and abilities. We use our individual skills and expertise to place the client at the centre of everything we do and aim to provide the best possible service for that individual.  

I fully understand the barriers that our veterans face when transitioning out of a career in the Armed Forces. These barriers can be apparent at the point of leaving the service, or they could be delayed. I take pride in the work that the team and I do to support our clients in regaining their independence for themselves and their families. For some, the support we provide is light touch. For others, it is more in-depth and for an extended period. We do not go at it alone; Walking With The wounded collaborates with over 200 organisations to position us to be able to offer the best support to those who have served. 

The work we have been doing around Employment has enabled us to fully embed Employment Advisors within the NHS, our key partner. In doing so, our employment service in the North West was reviewed and assessed and we became the first military-specific service in the world to gain the Individual Placement and Support Centre of Excellence status. The service includes full pre-employment training, CV writing, preparing a cover letter, employer engagement, effective job searching and applying for relevant jobs. We strive to support our clients in to competitive and sustainable employment.  

With the growing demand for Welfare services, in the North West, we also opted to embed a Care Coordinator within the NHS. Our Care Coordinators provide full, non-clinical holistic support so that the client can engage fully in their mental health interventions. This could include debt support, accommodation support, tackling social isolation and substance misuse. Our Care Coordinators compliment the veteran mental health service offered through NHS Op COURAGE. We aim to add value to an already strong service and ensure that the client is receiving an elevated level of support and care. 

Find out more about Op COURAGE, here.