Partnership in Practice
Martin is passionate about supporting veterans and was instrumental in setting up the Sussex Partnership Armed Forces Community
Martin’s award recognises his dedication to supporting the local armed forces community.
As an ex-member of the armed forces himself, Martin knows what it’s like to transition back to civilian life, and he’s passionate about supporting armed forces veterans to live well after they have finished serving their country.
Thanks to his hard work with Sussex Partnership staff, partner organisations, service users and their families, he has created an invaluable network offering help and advice to veterans – the Sussex Armed Forces Community.
The community was initially set up in Crawley two years ago and has developed into a network of NHS staff, ex-service personnel, reservists and family members who offer peer-led support through drop ins, events and social activities.
Veterans and their families can use the community to access local projects and organisations for advice on a range of information including physical and mental health, education, training, housing and benefits.
There are currently around 900 people involved with the network, with meetings and drop ins now regularly happening across Sussex, including Eastbourne, Littlehampton, Brighton and Worthing.
Martin’s work with the armed forces community has led to Sussex Partnership being one of the first mental health trusts in the country to receive ‘Veteran Aware’ accreditation from the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance.
The status recognises Sussex Partnership’s commitment to improving NHS mental health care for serving members of the armed forces, veterans and reservists. It is awarded to trusts that have made pledges and taken action to ensure that members of the armed forces community are never disadvantaged when receiving care, and that staff have training on veteran-specific needs.
Martin is not only known and recognised across Sussex Partnership as a champion for veterans, he is well respected by armed forces divisions and community organisations across the area, which allows the Sussex Armed Forces Community to organise events and celebrations, and draw new people into the network.
Martin received a number of nominations at this year’s Positive Practice Awards. As one nominator explained: 'One of the most special things people experience when working Martin in any form, is that he treats everybody with kindness and equality, and he is a role model in co-production.
'Martin's passion for his work is evident in every conversation and his commitment to the Veteran agenda has excelled the progress in North West Sussex mental health teams.'
Find out more about the Sussex Partnership Armed Forces Community on Twitter by following @sussexafc.
Martin is Team Lead for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Mental Health Liaison Practitioners in Crawley and Horsham.
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