Veterans Outreach Support (VOS) is proud to announce an expansion of its services on the Isle of Wight through the launch of our new ‘Vectis Veterans’ project.
‘Vectis Veterans’ marks an exciting expansion of our Isle of Wight support services. It involves funding awarded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (AFCFT) Reaching and Supporting Armed Forces Communities (RSAFC) programme, which will improve our ability to provide comprehensive, person-centred support to our veteran beneficiaries on the Isle of Wight. The award of £100,000 over three years will enable VOS to maintain its IOW-based team and deliver services to island residents.
All Isle of Wight residents who have served in the UK Armed Forces or Merchant Navy, along with their spouses, partners and carers, are welcome to join the VOS IOW community and access this support.
The Vectis Veterans initiative aims to reinforce and broaden the existing range of welfare, wellbeing, and clinical mental health support available through VOS IOW. By extending our reach and impact, we’re aiming to further enhance the lives of veterans, combat loneliness, and alleviate isolation across the island.
Building on Success for Veterans on the IOW
VOS hosts weekly social meet-ups to foster camaraderie and connections among island veterans.
VOS has had a presence on the Isle of Wight since 2018. The Vectis Veterans project, also known as VV, will leverage the proven success of VOS IOW with even more activities and resources for our veterans to enjoy, along with continued provision of clinical mental health and welfare services to those in need.
The Vectis Veterans project will mirror the successful activities available on the mainland and capitalise on existing connections with other on-island partners. This expansion will involve our monthly Drop-In services in Newport alongside a diverse array of weekly activities and social groups across various parts of the island, helping us to engage with an increasing number of veterans, close family members, and carers, with the aim of improving their welfare, wellbeing, and mental health.
Island-Specific Challenges for the Veteran Community
VOS Isle of Wight works alongside valued partner organisations to meet local veteran support needs.
Our years of work on the IOW have taught us that while many issues faced by IOW veterans are shared by the mainland veteran community, some issues are especially prevalent among islanders.
The Isle of Wight presents distinct challenges due to its relatively high concentration of veterans and veteran families, many of whom choose the island as a retirement destination.
The “isolation by choice” characteristic of the island can make reaching beneficiaries, especially those experiencing later-life needs, particularly difficult. Travel has historically been expensive and loneliness can impact upon many veterans.
VOS is dedicated to overcoming these challenges by establishing a dynamic presence on the island, meeting individual welfare needs, and providing pathways to wider VOS and partner services.
A Rewarding Road Ahead
VOS Isle of Wight community members enjoy a wide range of activities, like this pottery painting session.
As the demand for support continues to grow, VOS’ Vectis Veterans project will help us to cater to increasing numbers of veterans seeking help on the Isle of Wight.
This initiative not only underscores VOS’s commitment to serving the veteran community but also fills a critical gap in delivering direct support, covering welfare, wellbeing, and clinical aspects on the island. The success of the VOS model has been widely recognised, and the reinforcement of our services across the Isle of Wight reaffirms our charity’s dedication to making a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of veterans.
As the Vectis Veterans project takes flight, it represents an important moment in VOS’s journey to extend our reach and impact, ensuring that veterans are given the opportunity to access the comprehensive and dedicated support they deserve.
If you’re a veteran from the UK Armed Forces or the Merchant Navy (from any time of service) or a partner to one, VOS would love for you to join our community. We are here to offer our support: call us on 02392 731 767, visit an upcoming drop-in, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
VOS is immensely grateful for the support and funding we receive from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, and for the Reaching and Supporting Armed Forces Communities (RSAFC) Programme that has made our Vectis Veterans project possible.