Veteran’s Gateway Newsletter – March 2018
Welcome to the 1st Veterans’ Gateway Newsletter of 2018!
Since the soft launch on 03 April 2017:
- The top three areas of need are Finance, Housing and Mental Wellbeing
- Over 7,000 contacts (Phone calls, Webchat, Ask A Question) made through the contact centre
- Over 2600 telephone calls have been made to the Veterans’ Gateway helpline which have led to almost 1000 referrals to 20 different partners.
- Over 200k website sessions
- Overseas enquiries increasing – particularly from Asia and South Africa
In case you missed it
Christmas advertising – Thanks to the generous support of national newspapers including The Sun, The Mirror, The Telegraph and The Guardian, we were able to run a series of adverts over the festive period to raise awareness that the service is open 365 days a year including Christmas Day – a day many people, including veterans and their families can find particularly difficult.
Great reaction in the Twittersphere – We were delighted that The Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood, spotted the adverts and tweeted to his 35K followers. You too can help us to reach more vulnerable veterans by sharing our posts.
Throughout January we ran the second of our integrated burst campaigns using the hashtag #SquaredAway. Using the military term for ‘getting things sorted’, each week the campaign focused on a different area of need that a veteran or their family may require support or information on, ranging from physical health to mental wellbeing. Partner engagement was high and the campaign performed very well on social media. The campaign drove the highest level of traffic to the website and contact centre since the launch of Veterans’ Gateway.
As part of the Employment focus in the final week of January, the PR team secured great coverage in The Sun in addition to an interview with Veterans’ Gateway on a special series that ran throughout the week on the network show ‘Totally Connected’ on Forces Radio, BFBS which aired across the UK and overseas.
We have just run a successful media campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day and future campaigns will highlight issues such a s housing.
The second Veterans’ Gateway referral partners briefing took place in October 2017. Partners were briefed on performance to date, feedback from Connect Assist as well as information on marketing plans and work to date. This was followed by a useful Q&A session.
Veterans Reference Group (VRG)The inaugural meeting was held in December 2017 followed by a second meeting at our Contact Centre this month. This tri service VRG represents former serving personnel and their families from all across the UK and overseas.
We now have over 30 partners that can help with a wide range of issues, including new supporters who will help to make a difference to the lives of veterans and their families:
The Covenant In The Community National Conference, London 22 February 2018
We attended and presented at the Covenant in the community National conference attended by Tobias Ellwood and over 200 delegates including representatives from the MoD, local councils and NHS England.
What’s happening over the coming months?
- Independent evaluation of Veterans’ Gateway will start, conducted by Ulster University. “..Their research will provide a crucial evaluation of how accessible, usable and effective this new service is for veterans.” Mark Collins, Assistant Director, Veterans’ Gateway. Read More
- Veterans’ Gateway will present at:
- The Royal British Legion County Conferences and the Membership Conference, Belfast
- SSAFA National Conferences
- Next Referral Partner briefing will be on 17th April 2018