November 1st 2012
Combat veteran course expansion
A project where combat veterans teach different skills to people aged 50+ with the aim of
encouraging them into work has expanded and is starting new courses across Cornwall from this
Active Plus, which receives ESF (European Social Fund) Convergence through Cornwall Works
50+, targets people aged over 50 who are out of work, aiming to give them confidence and skills to
support them in finding a job or setting up a business. It also develops combat veterans to lead and
deliver the courses.
It has also recently won a Big Lottery bid which is funding a team of employees and more courses –
this time aimed at reducing isolation and increasing health and wellbeing. Two courses in Gwavas
and St Ives are now also being organised with support from Penwith Housing, Stennack surgery and
older person’s forums.
The two new Cornwall Works 50+ courses will take place in Bodmin and Redruth. Combat veterans
teach a range of skills including interview techniques (based on the veterans’ experience of
interrogating prisoners), first aid and IT skills.
Active Plus Director Tim Cocks, said, “the success of the project stems from training and developing
injured veterans as instructors. These come with a wealth of knowledge and experiences that can
deliver information and training in an empathetic manner at the right level. The injured veterans can
relate to the clients as many of them have suffered from unemployment, isolation, depression and
self-doubts about their future. Working together provides mutual benefits that motivates and inspires
Mark Yeoman, Head of ESF Convergence Communication, said, “ESF Convergence has supported
Active Plus in developing this specific package to open up work opportunities for people over 50.
The success of these courses, developed by Tim Cocks and Active Plus, has been such that
mainstream organisations such as Big Lottery now want to buy them so they can benefit their
customers as well. The result is great -- more people supported with the help they need and a
Active Plus was set up by Mr Cocks as a pilot scheme using volunteers and was so successful it
was rolled out across Cornwall. About a third of participants go into work or set up their own
business after completing the six week courses. It has now expanded and Mr Cocks has a team of
six – four part time and two full time – employees. Five of these are combat veterans with some
having themselves taken part in Active Plus courses.
For further information contact:
Clare Morgan, ESF Convergence Media and Public Relations Lead. Tel: 07805 788589.
E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ESF Communications Lemon Quay House, Lemon Quay, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2PU
Tel: +44 (0) 1872 355015 Email: email@example.com