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How caseworker training helps veterans

The Joining Forces programme has now ended

Joining Forces was an Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust supported programme in partnership with SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. It was delivered by 12 local projects across England by local Age UKs and SSAFA branches. After 3 successful years, the programme has now ended. Many of the pages in this section will still be useful for information and advice. Alternatively, you can look at the relevant sections of the Age UK website.


Martin Adair is Martin Adair, Joining Forces Project Team Leader at Age UK West Cumbria. He and his team have received SSAFA’s case worker training, which allows them to assist veterans in their home more effectively than ever before. Here Martin explains how.

Martin and his two colleagues support older veterans with a wide range of assistance. This includes day-to-day help around things like benefits advice, housing and health issues, as well as activities such as monthly trips, brunch clubs and Men in Sheds projects to encourage socialising.

What do caseworkers do?

“We would normally refer SSAFA to an older veteran who needed assistance with something to do with their home,” explains Martin. “This might be an adaptation they need for their home because they they’re less mobile, a piece of equipment that would benefit their lives, such as a washing machine, or some debt they have such as a bill. After this happens, a SSAFA caseworker would be sent to see the veteran.”

Martin continues: “The caseworker would visit and evaluate the situation, and if they think that funding is required make the case for that funding to help the veteran.”

SSAFA caseworkers

Find out more about the role caseworkers play in their local communities, assisting older veterans and their families with the problems they're facing.

How Martin’s training benefits veterans

Martin and his team received SSAFA’s caseworker training, which lasts three days and teaches people how to put a case forward using SSAFA’s online system, and features testimonials from people who have already done the course. Thanks to this training, Martin and his team are now able to develop cases within their preliminary visit to see a veteran, which saves time, which is important when they’re in need of urgent help.

“It’s made us more self-sufficient,” explains Martin of how the training has helped. “We’ve been on the training, which helps in a couple of ways. Firstly, it means we don’t have to refer the case on to someone else. It also means we know how the process works, so we’re able to manage the expectations of the veteran we’re visiting, so they know how long it will realistically take for them to receive, for example, a washing machine they’re in need of. Or, if the veteran’s finances mean SSAFA isn’t going to be able to help them, we’re able to tell them promptly, rather than referring things on, only for them to be told they won’t receive help later on.”

Joining Forces West Cumbria

Are you an older veteran in the area who's in need of help and support? Find out more about Joining Forces West Cumbria. They can assist with advice regarding benefits and house adaptations, befriending opportunities, and much more.

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Last updated: Jun 16 2020

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