The company has announced a further 12 months of funding for the AFC Fylde Community Foundation to help service leavers as they transition to civilian life and support veterans struggling with PTSD, homelessness and social isolation.
More than 50 have already benefited since the foundation appointed its first Armed Forces Support Officer last year using funding from BAE Systems and the Veteran’s Foundation.
Lee Geraghty, who stepped into the role after 22 years’ service with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, said that demand has risen since the start of the pandemic.
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He said: “Over the past 12 months this role has provided vital support for the armed forces community across the Fylde. I’m proud to have engaged with over 50 veterans, supporting those who were struggling to adjust to civilian life.
“Our two veterans’ cafes in Kirkham and St Anne’s have remained open throughout the pandemic and as part of AFC Fylde we have run football nights for veterans, as well as exercise classes and youth groups for their spouses and children.
“Understanding what these men and women are going through really helps me connect with and support them and I’m incredibly grateful to BAE Systems for making this possible.”
There has been lots of positive feedback from people who attend the support events, including one veteran who said: “I served in the Army for nearly 15 years and was medically discharged in 2017 after being diagnosed with PTSD following my tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I’ve been an employee of BAE Systems since January 2018 and first started attending the weekly football sessions in early 2021. I regularly struggle with my PTSD and find the football sessions a massive help. It helps me integrate with people of a similar background and those who might have similar struggles.”
Last year, BAE Systems gave more than £11m to local, national and international charities and not-for-profit organisations.
BAE Systems employs a number of veterans and reservists, many of whom play an active role in its veterans support network, VetNet; - providing careers and CV support or helping transitioning into the workplace.
Ian Willey, a member of the network, said: “Our company is dedicated to protecting those who protect us and we’re proud to have made this donation to ensure Lee can provide vital support to service personnel, veterans and their families in our community.”