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Charity warns younger armed forces personnel are not coming forward for support

4th September 2019
Posted by Aston Avery

Despite huge efforts to change the culture within the armed forces for serving personnel and veterans so they feel empowered to ask for help, new figures show there is still a lot to be done to reach the younger generation of serving personnel.

New quarterly results released today by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, highlight a worrying trend. Young serving personnel and veterans are not coming forward for support and using Forcesline, SSAFA’s free helpline – in fact just under one in five (18%) say they wouldn’t come forward for support because of the stigma around asking for help in the Forces.

The first half of 2019(1) saw 14,916 incoming contacts by telephone or email. Only 8% of these calls were made by someone under the age of 30, despite 89% of under 30s admitting they needed help during or after their military career (2). In comparison, almost half (45%) of the calls Forcesline received were from someone between the ages of 31-50.

Aston spoke to Captain Harry Grantham, Captain in the Royal Regiment of Artillery and Bill Grant, forcesline manager from SSAFA to discuss the charity’s latest research and the concerns it raises for younger armed forces personnel. Captain Harry also spoke about his own personal background.