A network of Armed Forces Service Champions are in place at Sussex Police to ensure that those who have served in the British Armed Forces and are vulnerable, and their immediate families, can get the help they need.
Public-facing officers and staff can notify a specially-trained Service Champion if they encounter an Armed Forces Veteran who may require additional support. This ensures that Veterans have a dedicated point of contact to support their welfare. Police Service Champions will support veterans by providing pathways to organisations and charities that are specially equipped to help those who have served.
Since signing the Armed Forces Covenant in 2017, Sussex Police has been working with partners including the NHS and the Sussex Armed Forces Network to support the Armed Forces community and their immediate families. This forms part of wider work to identify and protect vulnerable people, one of the force’s priorities.
Sgt Garry Botterill and D/Sgt Andy Nicklin are leading the project within the force.
Sgt Botterill said: “Our Sussex Armed Forces Network Police Champions are volunteers who recognise the courage and commitment displayed by members of our Armed Forces as they protect the nation and are thereby resolved to providing excellent support and help for veterans in our community”.
D/Sgt Nicklin said: “We meet a huge array of people in our role, and often have a unique insight people’s lives during times of crisis. This programme is about honouring a national promise to treat those who have served fairly, to help them overcome barriers to support and get them the right help if and when they need it.