At Veterans for Wildlife we are always sure to emphasise that our organisation has two parallel aims:

  • The protection of endangered species through the delivery of capacity-building services; and
  • The empowerment of veterans as they transition from military to civilian life.

The first is quite clearly demonstrated through our projects in South Africa, whereby highly-skilled volunteers are paired with our partners on the ground. Delivering world-class training and support to rangers employed in the anti-poaching and security sector.

But these deployments don’t just happen. They require the dedication of our volunteers themselves as well as that of Veterans for Wildlife’s corporate partners (such as Frontier Risks), and our private donors as well. Whilst Veterans for Wildlife bears the financial costs through our own project management structures, there is still an inherent opportunity cost for the volunteers. Deploying to South Africa for a matter of weeks or months is by no means an easy decision and can impact upon personal and professional commitments. Especially during the exceptionally difficult transition phase when individuals are attempting to find employment and establish themselves in a new career.

And this is why we take the issue of empowering veterans so seriously. We recongise the challenges that they face once leaving the ‘comfort zone’ afforded by service life. Accordingly, in 2016, Veterans for Wildlife became proud signatories and supporters of the Armed Forces Covenant. With a specific focus on starting new careers and the provision of discounted services.

At the most basic level, Veterans for Wildlife projects offer private sector work experience to volunteers. Allowing them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and ability in a new environment, working alongside new team members and, critically, outside of a single employer. In this instance represented by the Ministry of Defence.

In a testament to the quality of our volunteers, many Veterans for Wildlife ‘alumni’ have gone on to be offered permanent placements working for our project partners on the ground. Whilst personal commitments may potentially preclude them from taking up such offers, the confidence boost that one experiences from being offered a job cannot be discounted.

More significant, however, are the opportunities afforded to veterans upon their return to the UK at the culmination of their deployments. Including, but not limited to, the Security and RIsk Management Course (SRMC) presented by Frontier Risks.

The SRMC provides best-in-class residential training and hands on experience to individuals working or in any way interested in the topic of risk. The extensive syllabus covers such diverse topics as:

  • Country threat, vulnerability and risk assessment;
  • Crisis and disaster management;
  • Open source intelligence; as well as
  • Business communications, finance and budget control

Through our unique partnership, all Veterans for Wildlife ‘alumni’ have exclusive access to the SRMC on highly-preferential rates. Thereby making this highly sought-after course an affordable option for veterans seeking to further enhance their CVs and private sector knowledge. Indeed, our first-ever volunteer Sully, is currently undertaking the SRMC thanks to Frontier Risks and we look forward to his updates in the coming days and weeks.