Commitment to war veterans signed in Faygate

Lieutenant Colonel Graeme MacPherson and Jamie Bunce with Inspired Villages staff and residents
Lieutenant Colonel Graeme MacPherson and Jamie Bunce with Inspired Villages staff and residents

A developer has committed to supporting former members of the armed forces at an event at their retirement village in Faygate.

Jamie Bunce, chief executive officer of Inspired Villages Group (IVG), signed the armed forces covenant on Thursday September 27 at Durrants Village.

The signing sealed the company’s commitment to the fair treatment of former and serving military personnel and their families.

Jamie said: “The armed forces covenant is an opportunity for businesses, local authorities, charities and community organisations to declare their support for the armed forces community.

“The signing of the promise demonstrates that Inspired Villages recognises people from the services have transferable skills, particularly in relation to project management and leadership.

“As bronze award holders under the covenant, we’ll make sure our workforce is aware of our positive policies towards people in the forces.”

IVG is also developing a mentoring programme to support military personnel leaving the forces.

The scheme will see residents of the company’s retirement villages across the UK acting as mentors to help people adjust to life outside the services.

To be initially launched at one venue, the scheme will be rolled out to all of IVG’s later living communities.

Jamie said the mentoring scheme, with the support of Inspired Villages’ residents, would bring the whole community in each area together.

He added: “Including our residents in the programme provides people leaving the services with an opportunity to speak with a mentor who may have run their own business, been a senior leader in their company or indeed have served in the forces themselves.

“We recognise our residents have a huge wealth of experience that will help people to transition to civilian life. Plus, many of our residents want to give something back and this scheme will also help them to keep their minds active.

“At IVG we’re focused on active living in retirement and on tackling loneliness.”

Kate Lole, regional employer engagement director for the Ministry of Defence, said: “Members of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force can find the transition to civilian life rather lonely and a bit of a challenge. With a clearly defined mentoring scheme through Inspired, we believe it could bring great benefits to both those transitioning and their mentors.”

Each mentor will be matched with someone ‘and will meet face-to-face or remotely, typically for an hour a month.

The programme can cover all areas of transitioning, including identifying skills, goals and more.

Jamie said: “We’re actively looking to provide career opportunities for those with the right skills, the mentor will be able to make their mentee aware of the opportunities that may be available to them at Inspired Villages.”