Pathfinder International launched its first resettlement event in the form of the Armed Forces & Veterans Resettlement Expo 2018 at St James’ Park, Newcastle on Thursday November 1. Here Pathfinder International Editor, Mal Robinson, looks back on the occasion.
“The corridors of St. James’ Park were awash with a mix of serving personnel and veterans, all present to attend the first resettlement event from Pathfinder International.
31 exhibitors were in attendance, offering a plethora of services, East Kent NHS conducting interviews on the spot, Kiely Bros offering ex-military roles for 2019, Wagtail UK in attendance with Mollie, their tobacco detection dog, Gorvins offering legal advice, through to Riverside Housing advising on accommodation advice for ex-forces personnel. There was literally quite something for everyone.
To compliment the exhibitors, a programme of speakers was provided throughout the day. This saw York St, John University’s Nick Wood highlight his Military Human course, BAE Systems showcase the lavish lifestyle afforded to their employees in Saudi Arabia, NHS Step Into Health evaluating their good work with the military community, Maersk Training advising on their educational courses, NASC providing background information on what they offer, rounded off by three military guest speakers in the forms of Steve Heaney MC, Nick Dunn and John-Paul Jordan.
Steve kicked off the afternoon speaking highlighting the need to make your CV fit into civilian life and translated from military speak, before talking about his own transition through resettlement.
Nick Dunn, one of the famous Chennai Six, spoke movingly about his harrowing experience of being wrongly locked up in an Indian prison for four years and how his military training helped him through the whole experience.
Rounding off the afternoon, author and former Special Forces and French Legionnaire, John-Paul Jordan, spoke openly about mental health issues on leaving the forces and how these can be overcome.
With people travelling from as far as London, Bournemouth and Milton Keynes, all the way to the north east, the expo proved to be a popular attraction.
Be sure to stay informed of the next Pathfinder International resettlement event by following us on social media.
Many thanks to our sponsors BAE Systems, presentation exhibitors, Maersk Training, NHS Step Into Health and NASC, thanks to Steve Heaney MC, Nick Wood, Nick Dunn and John-Paul Jordan and to all exhibitors and attendees.”
BBC Look North coverage of the event.