VULNERABLE veterans are being encouraged to get involved in a new campaign launched by the SSAFA armed forces charity.
The Worcestershire branch of the charity is one of 92 volunteer run branches across the globe which help regular and reserve veterans, and their families.
The new Got Your Back campaign is encouraging vulnerable veterans of working age in Worcestershire to get the support as they make a successful transition to civilian life.
The campaign is timely with Remembrance events being held this week - with this campaign focused on supporting the younger veterans trying to live their lives after service.
Some younger veterans can experience serious social and financial difficulties, and become reliant on food banks, while other have ended up homeless or in prison.
The charity has found the most common needs of younger veterans has been urgent debt support, essential food and clothes and home mobility adaptations for those injured in service and training.
A recent survey found more than half of working age veterans, aged 16 to 64-years-old, did not have enough money for essential items, with more than four out of 10 saying they could not afford daily living expenses.
The SSAFA says too often these individual and families are too proud to ask for help, or don't know where to turn, which is where the charity steps in.
The Worcestershire branch, which covers the whole of the county including Worcester, Droitwich, Malvern and Wyre Forest, has supported 199 people so far this year, but wants to support more veterans.
David Swift, 40, said he joined the army at 17 but found it near impossible to adjust to civilian life, and ended up with him living on the streets. The charity's support helped him turn his life around.
Mr Swift said: "In the space of a year I went from being a healthy young man to someone sitting in a park wondering what the point of my life was.
"You go from being this soldier everyone respects to being the lowest of the low. You do everything in your power not to ask for help."
Sir Andrew Gregory, SSAFA chief executive, said: “SSAFA understands our soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen are resilient characters.
"However, for those individuals and for their families who find the transition out of the Armed Forces difficult, some are then too proud to ask for help.
“The aim of Got your Back is simple; ‘Those who have served this country and those who have supported them have protected our backs; don’t be too proud now to ask us to protect yours.”
Veterans and their families in need can call SSAFA Forcesline confidentially on 0800 731 4880 or visit ssafa.org.uk/gotyourback.