Pathfinder International editor Mal Robinson penned his editorial welcome to the April 2020 issue with a difference, read it below in full.

Read the special issue of Pathfinder for VE Day 75 here for free.

I write these notes on what would have been the day of the first Armed Forces & Veterans Resettlement Expo to be held at the London Metropolitan University on April 2.
A day later, Pathfinder International were official media partners for the International Franchise Show being held at London’s ExCel Centre.
Now instead of a range of exhibitors showcasing the world of business and franchising, ExCel houses the new NHS Nightingale Hospital, a temporary advanced field hospital in the heart of the capital, being able to accommodate an expected 4,000 patients due to the spread and infection of COVID19.
UK military personnel and NHS staff have worked around the clock to ensure Nightingale is operational and functional in the space of one week – a phenomenal effort, I am sure you will all agree.
Little did we think way back in 2019, when planning and coordinating these events, that both would be rightfully cancelled, due to a pandemic which has swept the globe and literally stopped the world in its tracks.
Life for everyone since the middle of March within the UK has changed radically with lockdown procedures placed on Great Britain’s citizens. As shops and restaurants close and people work from home, we try to go about our everyday lives as best we can.
The production of a military resettlement magazine through these turbulent times has also changed, with Pathfinder International being produced by a remote team also working from home for the first time in our 29-year history.
Whilst military resettlement and the transition from the forces maybe the last thing on anyone’s mind, life still goes on and the resettlement period does not stand still for no one. Even through such a disruptive episode in all our lives, some substance of normality still needs to remain and ensure an element of sanity throughout this.
Pathfinder also caters for the veteran community too, with many ex-forces labelled as veterans (myself included) whilst what I’d like to consider as still being in our prime. Many veterans (again myself included) have experienced mental wellbeing issues in the past and we continue to manage our mental health daily.
The rapid introduction of COVID19 into all of our lives and the effect of this on people’s anxiety, depression and fears of isolation should not be overlooked and as a consequence, the topic of remaining focussed and positive during these unprecedented times is high on the agenda for our April issue.
If anyone feels their mental health is deteriorating due to the current climate, we have included a list of services and charities, all armed with expert advice on this subject. Please speak to them, family or friends if you feel you have any issues arising.
We have 8 pages dedicated to mental well being in this issue to read in our periods of lockdown, including some top tips from our regular columnist, Jordan Wylie and submariner, Lieutenant Hugo Mitchell-Heggs. Please take a moment to read them, they are insightful and could prove invaluable.

This issue of Pathfinder International was originally intended to be a VE Day 75 special issue until external events leading to the current Coronavirus pandemic arose. We have still maintained the theme of reflecting and celebrating the diamond anniversary of a monumental occasion in British modern history (the ending of World War 2) where possible and this is evident from the beginning of the April issue, with our commemorative front cover far removed from a standard Pathfinder front image.
We have also produced a VE Day 75 special section and a very special supplement issue of Left Right Left including interviews with survivors of World War 2 and residents of Broughton House. Some of their stories stand a testament of time, and could most likely matched with stories of courage and selflessness from services personnel immersed with COVID19.
Inside the middle of the VE Day 75 section and the centre pages of the magazine, you will find a Union Jack poster, complete with the message: “We Support Our Services!” Pathfinder asks you to display our national flag in support of ALL of our services, both armed and emergency on the 8th of May and what is the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
We have witnessed a superb and rightful show of support to the NHS with communities and cities coming together to applaud those on the frontline of the Coronavirus battle and now we thought it would be quite something to see an array of Union Jacks backed with our message on displayed up and down the land and for that matter across the World to show solidarity to those we need most, but whom also need our backing.
An image of the poster will also be available to download if you are reading this issue of Pathfinder in digital or online, meaning anyone and everyone can join in, make a day of VE Day indoors or in the garden, remember, reflect and celebrate a poignant day in our calendar, whilst at the same time lending words of encouragement to our current heroes, encompassing VE Day 75 and COVID19.
Please join in, spread the word to friends and family and ultimately, “Show Your Support!”
Speaking of supplements inside Pathfinder International, we are delighted to continue our new magazine series – Military Muscle. The inaugural issue of MM was launched by SAS: Who Dares Win star, Ollie Ollerton and the magazine’s ethos of an active body can lead to an active mind has been well received by readers.
The second issue of Military Muscle turns to water sports and life on the ocean wave, featuring the incredible account of the HMS Oardacious rowing team – the first serving Royal Navy team to complete the World’s toughest rowing race from the Canary Islands to the West Indies. It was an incredible feat by the four-man crew, raising money for mental health charities along the way. Be sure to check out their exclusive story inside.
The Pathfinder International April issue has been extraordinary to produce and publish on a number of levels. From working at home and liaising with a team remotely around the UK to the unique situation of covering both a high profile anniversary of what could be argued as the best piece of news anyone has received collectively in our recent times (VE Day) to that of an increasing incessant tide of heart breaking, distressing and worrying news stories filling our lives centred around COVID19.
Whilst this is such an unparalleled time not known since the likes of World Wars and conflict, I have no doubt the energy and drive of humanity will once more overcome setbacks to emerge stronger and unified as never before.
It is a period for reflection with time on our hands for some and it is also a moment to appreciate what we have in life and not to take anything for granted as maybe we once did.
There will always be that memory I can turn to as a shining example, that of organising the two events in the form of our Resettlement Expo and the partnership with the International Franchise Show. It was briefly mentioned in a meeting about the requirements, terms and conditions of a cancellation of either event. I recall thinking, it would take something like a natural disaster for these events not to take place!
Now that disaster has taken place, we need to practise principles instilled in us all from the military from day one, that of “adapt and overcome”.
It goes without saying, everyone at Pathfinder International magazine prays that you all stay safe during this outbreak. I usually end my routine editorial welcome with “I hope you enjoy this issue as much as we do putting it all together”.
Whilst we have once more found enjoyment in the production of the April 2020 issue, I’d like to end with the message of we hope this issue of Pathfinder helps you in any little way through moments of frustration during lockdown and or self-isolation, or between moments of calm amidst the chaos. Have a look at the advice penned within this issue and look out for one another.
Many of you reading this will be working in support of the COVID19 outbreak and many of you will be on standby to help with the efforts. Veterans reading this may be at home on lockdown and likewise for forces families also gazing over this edition. Whatever your role throughout this unchartered episode in recent history, be well and stay safe!
Kind regards,
Mal Robinson, Editor, Pathfinder International magazine.

Read the April 2020 Special Issue here.