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25 June 2020 | Firm News | Article by Simon Ellis

Hugh James joins forces with Veterans In Support to help fund new mental health helpline for key workers

A new free-to-use virtual helpline has been established for all social carers, volunteers and essential key workers in the UK – run solely by volunteers from the veterans’ community.

National law firm Hugh James has today provided a generous funding partnership for Veterans in Support, during Armed Forces Week, to help get this important initiative off the ground.

‘Veterans in Support’ was founded in response to the unprecedented emotional challenges faced by frontline Key Workers and volunteers during the COVID-19 crisis. The service is provided solely by volunteers from the veterans’ community, who are uniquely placed to empathise with the mental stresses and long-term effects of traumatic and challenging situations.

Nick Wilson, Veterans in Support founder, commented:

We’re seeing so many amazing key workers and volunteers experiencing traumatic events during this time. They need someone who can listen to them, empathise and relate to their experiences. Individuals from the veteran community are uniquely placed to help here. Our service is dependent on donations, and funding grants. This support by Hugh James will help us to start providing this first line of support that’s so desperately needed.

Hugh James is involved extensively with charitable and community projects across the UK. The top 100 UK firm regularly undertakes new partnerships – helping to support and fund work which their staff and clients care about.

Simon Ellis, Hugh James partner, commented:

We are proud to support this great initiative. Those in the military have a particular perspective on PTSD bases on their experience in theatre. This makes them uniquely placed to assist those key workers who are now experiencing similar feelings and emotions. We are delighted to able to help make this a reality.

All volunteers of ‘Veterans in Support’ enter a rigorous screening and training process, supplied by professional mental health practitioners. An initial conversation with a volunteer is arranged at a time to suit the service user via an online portal. After this session, held in strict confidence, users can be signposted, or request access, to a Therapist, where they will be assessed by the Triage team for fully-funded counselling sessions, to give them support over the longer-term.

‘Veterans in Support’ is a free service, as part of Talk Mental Health. It’s currently training its first volunteers and conducting trials with hospitals, before full roll out.

Author bio

Simon Ellis


Simon Ellis is a Partner with Hugh James and has worked with the firm for more than 25 years, having trained and qualified here. Simon heads up the Military Department, advising and assisting current and former military personnel with various health conditions and injuries. He specialises in claims such as hearing loss, non-freezing cold injuries, compartment syndrome and military injury cases. He is often asked to advise on more unusual claims in the military context.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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