GreaterSport, Tameside Armed Services Community (TASC) and Tameside Borough Council last night launched the Moving Forces programme which aims to provide a wide range of activities for service personnel and ex-service personnel whilst providing the opportunity to meet and chat with fellow veterans.
This is the beginning of the three year pilot project which is funded by Sport England which will benefit the ex-service personnel Community across Greater Manchester and will see over £300,000 invested into this work.
The project will develop a programme of physical activity and sport sessions to be delivered by partner organisations and community clubs. It aims to decrease social isolation among veterans and increase the amount of ex-service personnel engaging in physical activity, particularly during the transition into civilian life. Spanning over three years, the project will be delivered in Tameside for the first year, then expanding across Greater Manchester for the final two years.
Donations received at the 2016 Greater Manchester Sports Award and 2016 North West Football Awards enabled GreaterSport to pilot different opportunities for veterans throughout Greater Manchester. The learnings from these pilots have been used to develop this programme; ‘Moving Forces: Staying Active in Civvy Street’
Armed Force charities like The Royal British Legion, Combat Stress and Walking with the Wounded have pledged their support to the programme and were in attendance at the event alongside The Tameside Civic Mayor and veterans who took part in a number of activities including axe throwing, dance and football.
Running alongside the project will be a Manchester Metropolitan University funded PhD study to undertake a qualitative evaluation to ensure all learnings be captured to influence future programmes aimed at supporting ex-service personnel.
Steven Pleasant, Chief Exec of Tameside Council said;
“Tameside Council, are delighted to be working in partnership with GreaterSport, Ministry of Defense and TASC in bringing this innovative project to Tameside and Greater Manchester, the support of our Armed Forces Community has always been important to us as a Borough. We are therefore delighted there is investment from Sport England to enable us to work with partners to be able to do this in Tameside, and share our learnings across Greater Manchester and nationally”
Pete Carruthers, GreaterSport’s Development Officer (Armed Forces), said;
“Whilst the physical health benefits of sport and physical activity are obviously hugely beneficial, we sometimes forget about other benefits such as improving mental health, reducing drug and alcohol use and perhaps most importantly, the power to bring people together. This is why Moving Forces has huge potential to help our armed forces community.”
Frank Travis, Board member at Tameside Armed Services Community (TASC) said;
“Tameside Armed Services Community realise the importance of providing accessible and targeted support to our Armed Forces Community and realise the positive benefits around combatting isolation and inactivity post service with sports and recreational activities.”
If you have previously been in the armed forces and would like to find out more about Moving Forces and how you can get involved then please visit www.movingforces.co.uk