Shoulder to Shoulder expands into the West Midlands

Volunteering charity TimeBank has expanded Shoulder to Shoulder - it's mentoring project for ex-servicemen and women - into the West Midlands, and made two new appointments.

Andy Forster, who was previously Head of Policy for the Commission for the Compact in Birmingham, is Shoulder to Shoulder's new Programme Manager, based in Birmingham and London.

Richard Burns is Shoulder to Shoulder's new project manager, based in Birmingham. Richard was previously a senior support worker at Shelter.

On average 20,000 servicemen and women return to civilian life every year. Most resettle successfully. However up to 27% experience mental health problems and nearly 20% have a mental a mental health problem resulting from traumas and injuries they received during active service.

Shoulder to Shoulder was launched in London last year in partnership with Combat Stress. It's the first peer mentoring project in the UK which supports ex-servicemen and women. Volunteers are either veterans themselves or have an understanding of the particular issues involved.

The project's expansion in to the West Midlands has been made possible by funding of £114,500 from the Royal British Legion and Combat Stress Voluntary Sector Strategic Partnership.