Veterans’ Places, Pathways and People Programme – raising standards and saving lives
The landscape for veterans experiencing mental health and wellbeing challenges in the UK has changed significantly for the better because of the Veterans’ Places, Pathways and People (VPPP) programme.
The VPPP programme has been delivered by 88 dedicated organisations. Working across ten regions and supported by many more organisations, they have changed and saved the lives of many veterans in need, and supported their families.
Supporting good mental health
An important feature of the VPPP programme and what it aims to achieve for veterans is the broad definition of ‘mental health support’. Over £9 million has been invested in a wide range of services and activities offered by grant holders and projects. These cover the full spectrum, from ‘banter and brew’ sessions to social prescribing, psychotherapy and suicide prevention.
The interim evaluation report reveals the challenges the programme aimed to address. From loneliness and isolation to complex PTSD; from dealing with day-to-day issues to affecting cultural and behavioural changes. The report primarily looks at the activities and achievements through the first year of the programme and into year two. It covers improvements to mental health support and services; greater connection with veterans; improved cross-sector support for veterans; how partnerships and collaborations have grown and developed; and how projects are embedding what they have learned into their ways of working.
Continuing development of the programme
Beyond the period covered by the interim report, the evidence shows that the programme has continued to develop. The projects within it have built on their successes in the first year. Recent reporting by VPPP regional leads and grant holders highlights ongoing collaborations, cross-sector partnerships and improved referral processes. ‘Our partners in the portfolio represent a known and trusted ally and the work between us all has the synergy […].’ Training courses and learning activities for the people supporting veterans directly have continued at pace, upskilling case workers and others involved in delivering services.
Veterans and their families have continued to experience improvements in their circumstances through the programme:
‘[A portfolio member] has recently seen success with a hard-to-reach veteran. It took time to build up a level of trust with him, but now he and his wife are regular visitors to [the centre] and take part in our social inclusion activities. One of the major issues was that they needed to move into a social housing bungalow for health reasons, which we assisted with by liaising with the housing association. They have now moved into their new bungalow and are very happy to have finally made the move, improving the quality of both their lives. Now that the housing issues are settled, they are feeling a lot more secure with their life. We have encouraged the veteran to access help for his mental health which has not been addressed for over thirty years.’
Plans are underway to gather feedback from all stakeholders in the programme, for the full evaluation. This is an opportunity for grant holders and strategic leads, non-funded partners and beneficiaries to have their say on the successes, achievements, challenges and anything that could be improved for future programmes.
Read the report
In the meantime, you can read the Interim VPPP evaluation report here.