The tale of courage behind WWTW – A Q&A with Ed Parker, co-founder and CEO of Walking With The Wounded
My nephew was seriously wounded in July 2009, losing both his legs. When I visited him in hospital, and saw the many other young men and women, I felt it was time to do something that reflected their courage and determination. Despite their injuries, they still had the opportunity to live a fulfilling life, and Walking With The Wounded was set up to support that belief.
What changes have you seen in the last couple of years within the support for wounded servicemen and women?
The physical rehabilitation of those injured is second to none and all those involved should be applauded. But the next step, the most important one back into the civilian world, still presents challenges. We have seen this improve in the last two or three years, but there is plenty that still needs doing.
What programmes do you currently have in place to support ex-servicemen and women?
We look at the journey to employment as the pathway we need to support. Our focus is at each end. First, we provide support to those about to get into the work place providing direct funding to pay for training and education. Then at the other end, we are working with those who need the greatest amount of help, whether they are homeless or in police custody.
What do you see as the biggest challenge currently facing the sector?
I think the biggest challenge the whole sector now faces is that of mental injury. While a physical injury is easy to define, a psychological injury is far more complex. Walking With The Wounded is addressing this need by launching Head Start, a mental healthcare pathway which integrates existing services available to veterans and their families, most notably the NHS, and provides access to private therapy as well to ensure quick treatment and greater capacity to enable a larger number of individuals to be given care. We aim to more than double the veteran specific mental health treatment capacity in the UK over the next two years.
Find out more about Walking With The Wounded’s programmes
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