University researchers joined forces with Armed Forces groups to improve services for combat veterans in North Wales.
Wrexham Glyndwr University is working with the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) to produce evidence that will guide future strategic public service education policies.
Led by Dr Nikki Lloyd-Jones, Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Life Sciences, the team has interviewed veterans from across the region and is collating information that will support those challenged by their transition of re-entering civilian society.
Dr Lloyd-Jones said the idea came about after the North Wales Armed Forces Forum identified a need to fill the gap in the cultural differences between military and civilian life. She and research assistant Darel Cookson are still looking to interview people who have left the Forces in the last 10 years.
“This was an exciting opportunity to undertake research intended to inform future public service deliverers, and the results have been very interesting and informative,” said Dr Lloyd-Jones.
”From anecdotal accounts we know about service leavers’ experiences of navigating cultural differences when leaving the Armed Forces, we know that those in the wider community who regularly interact with ex-Service personnel could improve how they respond to everyday needs. The research will explore this further, mapping out some of the significant decision-making issues experienced when becoming a civilian.”
She added: “We’ve had positive feedback and would like to thank everyone who has taken part in the research so far.
“The responses help us to paint a picture of what these men and women are going through, but we still need more people to provide us with information so we can make a difference.”
The project will develop a tool to evaluate integration, exploring the experiences of former service men and women when going through the transition process, whilst also aiming to help generate a programme that will eradicate the sense of exclusion felt by some ex-Service personnel.
The study is being conducted in North Wales, but the findings will be applicable more widely by providing empirical evidence to develop strategic policies about facilitating and evaluating successful integration into civilian life for ex-Service personnel.
To take part in the study or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07540148513.