Veterans who exit the services being offered free places on unique course

VETERANS, some who exit the services and feel like ‘rudderless ships’, are being offered free places on a unique course being run by leading Humber charity CatZero.

North East, North Lincolnshire and East and West Lindsey unemployed veterans, either fulltime or reserves, are now being urged to apply. Benefits will not be affected and those on military pensions who are not claiming benefits are also eligible.

With an introduction presentation planned for Monday, June 10, the three-month course will be centred in the Grimsby area with the main bases being The Knoll, in Cleethorpes and CatZero’s offices at the Digital Hub at Freeman Street Market.

CatZero is now in its tenth year of delivering lasting personal change to many hundreds of people across the Humber region. With one of the best success rates in the country, based on national Government data, of getting people back into training, work or education, the charity launched its first Veterans Programme in Hull, after seeing a real need for ex-forces people to work together in a team and progress.

Programme team leader Pete Tighe said: “The highly successful programme in Hull, which finished earlier this year, opened our eyes to the need for veterans to come together, to bond as a unit and to really understand they have real skills that can be adapted.

“But it is also a case of supporting people as they overcome some of the barriers that exist, after what can sometimes be almost a lifetime with the Armed Forces,” he added.

The programme, funded by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Royal Marines Charity and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund on an individual participation basis, is being supported by the Armed Forces team at The Knoll, which is currently being transformed into a ‘hub’ for veterans to receive support and advice. Regular clinics are already being held there.

Offering more support for unemployed veterans with a unique new programme is CatZero programme manager Pete Tighe, centre, who is receiving support from the North East Lincolnshire Armed Forces Team, Alex Baxter, left, and Gavin Marshall

Taking time out from arrangements for the bumper Armed Forces Weekend on June 28, 29 and 30, team member Alex Baxter said: “It is vital to remember that 97 per cent of ex-servicemen and women do transition extremely successfully upon leaving the military. However, it is highly important that the small proportion who do struggle – around 1.5 per cent – receive the support they need.”

Colleague Gavin Marshall recounted his leaving the RAF nine years ago, after 32 years as an engineer and ops controller – latterly with the Red Arrows.

“There is certainly a void for me and even now, I dream perhaps two or three nights a week, about my life in the RAF. It is the challenge of living in the ‘outside’ world too. When I needed medical treatment, shortly after leaving, I was completely unaware of what to do and what I was entitled too,” said Gavin.

“Alex is right, while a vast majority of people have successful futures, there are some who remain like rudderless ships. They come out with so much to offer, but think they have nothing,” he added.

The CatZero programme combines vocational and academic support and training with team building and the opportunity to take part in the charity’s unique sailing challenge, on board its 72ft challenge yacht. With an ethos of ‘Once CatZero, Always CatZero’, extensive on-going support is also offered.

For more details and to book your place on the Presentation Event call 01482 333305 or go to

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