About us

We are here to help former veterans get back on their feet. We prove to them they aren’t alone or too different to fit into civilian society. Together we work to build a sense of belonging and being valued. And we do this on their doorstep.

We work out what needs doing and how. We then use existing services if possible, or fund alternatives. Find out more in how we help.

Our innovative cafés

Our café hubs help raise funds. They also provide a place veterans can walk in and find support in their own community. They’re popular with the public and also those familiar with the culture of the armed forces and emergency services.

Hands holding a match copyright credit Rob Leyland

A different approach

Many former military or emergency service personnel find it difficult to readjust to so-called ‘normal life’. A lot of the time they don’t accept help for fear of seeming weak.

Some felt what they had witnessed would be better off held internally. Unfortunately such coping mechanisms can lead to self destruction.

We could see typical methods of rehabilitation weren’t working. But we discovered harnessing the power of the local community did.

Friday Fitness in Scarborough

Why we exist

Those that serve in the armed forces and emergency services have helped protect and look after us. It’s time we did the same for them.

Who are we?

We are a mix of veterans and civilians. Many of us have first-hand experience of not knowing where to turn.

Why are we called FirstLight?

FirstLight Trust is named after the light you see in the morning when you’ve survived another night.

Video about what we do

Read the full transcript.

Meet our supporters

We’re lucky to have some amazing supporters from regiments to individuals. Many support our charity for armed forces and blue light services because of their own personal experiences.

Our patron is Bernard Cornwell OBE, best-selling author of the Sharpe novels and The Saxon Stories which inspired the TV series ‘The Last Kingdom’. Find out more in meet our supporters.

Our contact details

Need our phone number, email or address? Check out Contact us

Journalists may find our News and events and FirstLight Trust Media Kit (PDF) useful.


We follow the Code of Fundraising Practice, as set by the Fundraising Regulator

Fundraising Regulator logo

We are members of The Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO)