Our helpline team includes a number of veterans who have worked in a variety of roles in the Armed Forces. They have first-hand experience of the issues that people face after leaving the Service and work alongside civilians in the helpline team to provide 24-hour support for veterans, 7 days a week. Here they talk about their experiences and why they decided to join the team.
Callee – Team Supervisor
Callee joined the Royal Navy at the age of 17 and served for five years, spending time on deployment in the Gulf and the Falklands.
“It is very re-assuring to speak to someone who knows about army life and the places they have served in,” she said.
“We are here to help and give them the best options available.
“The veterans we come across have lost everything. They have no money, no food, no home and suffer health problems.
“We are geared to help them with all these issues and direct them to the right place. Often, new issues and underlying problems come to light when we chat to veterans.“
Jackie – Housing Specialist
Jackie has been in the housing sector since 1988 and has worked within Local councils and the Charity Sector.
Jackie’s previous employment roles gave her experience with Tenant Empowerment and Participation, Area Manager, domestic violence and education welfare.
Jackie joined Veterans Housing in February 2018 and has been very involved with Veterans Gateway since her joining as a specialist.
Kath – Customer Advisor
Kath has been with Veterans’ Gateway since the soft launch a year ago. She started volunteering with Help for Heroes 2 years ago and is now a Local volunteer Co-ordinator for South Wales. She has had the honour of attending the Invictus games 2016 with friends and family, which was incredible and this has helped her in recent trails.
Kath has strong Military connections and has received support from Military Charities in the past which helps in her role as a Veterans’ Gateway advisor.
Ken – Customer Advisor
Kenneth was born in Kenya, served in the Kenya Air Force. He has also served as a Diplomat outside Kenya and The Kenya National Assembly as a Sergeant-at-Arms.
He moved over to the UK for further studies and has achieved an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Due to family and the political situation in Kenya he he stayed in the UK after his studies.
Since then Kenneth has worked at the South Wales Police, Cardiff Metropolitan University, South Wales University, Oxford University, Companies House, Vodafone-Wehelp and now at Veterans’ Gateway.
Paul – Helpline Advisor
Paul joined the Army in 1986 as a Gunner in the Royal Artillery, serving in Northern Ireland (5 tours) BAOR, Cyprus, Norway, Belize, Iraq and various other countries whilst on exercises.
Since leaving the Army in 2005, he has served in the MoD Police as a security officer and worked as a Super League rugby team coach.
Paul has also suffered from PTSD and has received treatment through NHS Wales and Combat Stress.
“I have been through the transition process myself and relied on the support of Combat Stress,” he said.
“I wanted to work on Veterans’ Gateway to give back the help I had from others. There are so many veterans out there that need our support.
“Making that initial call is the hardest call you have to make as your pride deters you from showing weakness or vulnerability. You feel you are letting your comrades down but things get a lot better when you acknowledge the issues.”
Thomas – Customer Advisor
Thomas has come to Veterans’ Gateway with substantial experience in customer service and has spent time working for both Sky and British Gas.
He was eager to join Veterans’ Gateway as he feels the service is important and strongly believes in the values it holds.