Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine
Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine is run in partnership with leading Scottish veterans’ charity Erskine and funded by ABF, The Soldiers Charity. It offers support to Scottish soldiers who are struggling to adjust to civilian life and reduce their risk of social and economic isolation.
Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine was set up in 2014 to recruit and train volunteers to provide one to one mentoring support to members of the ex-services community in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Mentors encourage them to manage their finances, use public transport, take exercise and write CVs, to access local support services and sort out housing issues. The project draws on TimeBank’s extensive experience of delivering volunteer mentoring projects that support vulnerable people through difficult transitions in their lives.
We know that volunteer mentoring can be a powerful tool. It can help veterans lead independent lives, with the confidence to identify goals, lead on their own recovery plans and take control of their lives. And it can help family members tackle isolation, signpost them to services to help and help them build supportive social networks.
An external evaluation of the project last year by Edinburgh research consultancy The Lines Between highlighted the success of the project and its positive outcomes. It found the project is meeting a need and addressing a gap in service provision. The report says the unique nature of the service is clearly providing a valued and useful addition to services that support veterans and points to increases in confidence, self-esteem and social networks resulting from mentoring. It concludes that the voluntary nature of the mentors’ contribution is a particular motivator, creating a social bond that encourages engagement in the project and complements professional services. Volunteers on the project felt they had learnt more about mental health issues and veterans’ support needs and gained a feeling of self-worth that came from doing something valuable.
You can download a copy of the evaluation report below.
And if you’d like to volunteer as a mentor for Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine or think you would benefit from a mentor, we are here to help. Please call Ali, the project co-ordinator on 07437 437867 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.