Armed Forces veterans at SkillForce are set to benefit from a funding boost.
SkillForce has received a £15,000 cash injection from ABF The Soldiers’ Charity for skills training. Currently, 70% of our instructors are ex-Services personnel.
The funding will contribute towards a professional development and training programme, which includes coaching, behaviour management, first aid, mentoring and safeguarding.
Ben Slade, Chief Executive, SkillForce, says, “We employ predominantly ex-Services personnel as instructors on our programmes with schools because they are inspirational role models who have a profound impact on the children and young people with whom they work.”
He adds, “We are committed to investing in their continued professional development as they transition from military to civilian life, and I would like to thank ABF The Soldiers’ Charity for their support.”
Brigadier (Ret’d) Robin Bacon, Chief of Staff, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity says, “Transitioning between Service and civilian life can be tough on some, so having the support of SkillForce is a huge asset to those in its training programme.
“The Soldiers’ Charity grant will help those leaving the Army continue to use their skills developed in the Service and inspire school children throughout the UK.”
During the last 10 years, we have trained more than 600 ex-Services personnel, giving them the opportunity to draw on their military expertise and training and develop new skills.
They include staff such as Alex Young, a former British Army soldier. The 28-year-old is a SkillForce instructor working with schools in Yorkshire to help children and young people develop character, self confidence and resilience.
Alex says, “I learnt so much from being in the Army. They really drum into you the importance of resilience, leadership, courage and discipline. To be able to pass on those values and the importance of respect for others is fantastic, and a real privilege. It’s very rewarding to see the change in the young people. Some children were shy or scared of speaking up in class or reticent to try new challenges, and we see them develop confidence and team working skills.”
Alex trained with the Army Air Corps and was a ground crewman working with the Army’s attack helicopters. He said: “I loved the skills that I learnt in the Army including map reading, discipline and firing a weapon, and I was good at them. I matured quickly and played rugby for the Army.”
He adds, “I heard about SkillForce and it was the perfect fit for me – being able to use my military training and skills to help the next generation in my community and beyond. I have now been able to complete a teacher training qualification with the charity.”
Our instructors deliver motivational mentoring and education programmes that develop character, self confidence and resilience. They include the SkillForce Junior Prince’s Award, supported by The Duke of Cambridge, and the newly launched SkillForce Character Award that is currently being piloted from 2016/17 in 37 schools nationally involving more than 1,000 pupils aged 5 to 14.
Read more about some of our ex-Services instructors on our Inspiring Stories page.