Regional work support programmes

Every year, the Legion’s External Grants programme gives funding to organisations to retrain ex-Service personnel for jobs in the civilian world.

Taking pride in progress

Since March 2016, the Taking Pride in Progress project has given 12 unemployed veterans valuable experience in the media industry by helping them create The Secret County – a magazine commemorating the role that Buckinghamshire played during WWII.

Taking Pride in Progress (pictured above) is a year-long learning and development project for unemployed Service veterans. It is run by Maybe Magazine, a social enterprise and publisher based in Bletchley Park. The project received £19,972 of funding by The Royal British Legion’s External Grants programme.

Veterans have gained skills in researching, writing, graphic design, content planning, photography, audio, video editing and online publishing, as well as receiving career advice. Training sessions took place at The Royal British Legion Pop in Centre in Aylesbury and Bletchley Park.

Through this project, Service veterans have been able to try something new, learn new skills and meet like-minded people. All participants have had their name credited in the magazine, which will act as a powerful tool for future employment.

Project Manager, Gemma Holsgrove, said: “We are thrilled to receive funding from The Royal British Legion to help us provide an opportunity for ex-Service men and women to retrain in a new industry. The Secret County helps ensure that future generations know the extent of the sacrifice by those we remember as ‘The Greatest Generation.”

Buy a print copy of The Secret County for £3.99 or download an e-version of the magazine, which includes videos and further articles. All profits will be donated to The Royal British Legion.

Maybe Magazine hopes to deliver similar projects in other regions around the UK during the next few years and provide part time employment to the veterans that have been involved in the Buckinghamshire project. It is hoped the veterans will be able to deliver a schools and community outreach project in the county and help raise funds for The Royal British Legion through ongoing sales of the magazine.

Finchale TRaINING College

Established after the Second World War, Finchale Training College, in Durham, has a long history of supporting veterans back into the workforce. Since 2011, with the help of the Legion's External Grants Scheme, they have expanded the advice, training and information they provide to assist even more ex-Service personnel in moving from the Armed Forces to new occupations.

They provide a diversity of courses including warehousing & storage, horticulture, security and accountancy and provide a full social backup service if the veterans require it. Each veteran is treated individually and guided through the process, being given as much or as little assistance as they need. 

Visit the Finchale Group website to find out more about veterans' services at Finchale.

“Adjusting to civilian life after a career in the Armed Forces can be very difficult and finding a job can be one of the hardest parts of leaving Service. That’s why the Legion is committed to helping veterans, and their families, find work on ‘civvy street’." - Daniel Elser, Head of Grants & Social Policy

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