Tony is an Armed Forces Veteran, who has invested his efforts and working life in advocating on behalf of and supporting individuals categorised as having the most complex and chaotic lifestyles.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
He has had continued success in engaging ‘hard to reach’ groups and positively influencing the quality of their lives though access to mainstream services. Many previously, marginalised individuals have gone on to take up employment positions acting as change activists supporting others less fortunate than themselves. Many of his initiatives have been described as ‘cutting edge’ and ‘best practice’.
Tony recognised that Veterans were a forgotten population and community with little direction or support and are often disenfranchised with society. Tony spent time asking veterans what would help them using drop ins to gather the information creating an organic, person centred, needs-led approach. The veterans Tony worked with have all suffered trauma in one way or another, with their past and recent experiences taking their toll when returning to civilian life. Social isolation, loneliness, physical illness coupled with psychological distress results in veterans self-medicating with alcohol and drug misuse.
Tony started addressing these difficulties by becoming an inspirational advocate. Tony’s skills shine through during times of need by acknowledging the impact of current events and emotional landscape. The better and more supported veterans feel, the better they can focus on the task at hand, post traumatic growth. Tony has devised a unique service that focuses on the ability to draw upon the strengths that are often hidden within veterans. Tony supports veterans to explore their life, leading to being, belonging and becoming. Tony has employed several veterans within the charity with sustained employment. Tony often gets thanks for ‘saving my life’. Tony has a unique ability in being able to get veterans to open up and trust him, trust often being a barrier to engagement.