Video

 

FirstLight Trust – short film about us (2021)

 

Transcript of the video

 

Yvonne

I was in a tunnel I couldn’t get out and didn’t know how to get out and I phoned up FirstLight Trust to speak to to them to really to ask for help cos I didn’t know where to turn or who to turn to and without them I wouldn’t be here today I would have honestly I’ve got in that corner and just given up on life.
 

Dorinda

One of the biggest things that we do we see the individual and what is what is needed as opposed to what they might consider might be needed.
 

Dorinda

In reality that means doing whatever is required on the ground to ensure that that veterans and their families have the best life they possibly can have given the circumstances and that can be as as simple as making sure that somebody is able to get out of bed in the morning right the way through to complex treatment that enables them to function properly and we’re able to deliver that by working in collaboration with organisations but the most important thing with that is we do it at grassroots level.
 

Dorinda

So that often involves families, it massively involves the community. I regard us as a community based organisation and each community is different so each hub although it has a have safe space and we’re really keen on making sure that it is the best it can be, also has its own quirks and things. Different groups of people with different dynamics working in different ways.
 

Dennis

They don’t have a system they just have individuals you know and let’s say if there’s a guy in trouble then he’s in trouble. They didn’t knock me for living in a caravan, they didn’t try to stop me living in a caravan but they did offer me the help and how can I put it? The companionship.
 

Lynne

He was living in a caravan, in the middle of a field, in the middle of nowhere and I just thought ‘oh, let’s see what we can do about that because that’s not a great position to be in’.
 

Dennis

I’m 86
 

Lynne

There is a project going on which was just an infancy at the stage then which is a self-build project in lempster where the veterans were part of a project where they can start to build around homes but also build themselves, feel educated, we sorted out their benefits mental health unit so we worked as a team for 18 months to build the homes and build kind of a future for themselves so well I was lucky enough to get Dennis on that. He was doing little projects in his little workshed out of his caravan.
 

Dorinda

Sign posting in my view does nothing but tick a box. If we do a referral we’re really careful to ensure that we know the person they’re referring to we know the type of organisation and that it’s fit for purpose.
 

John

She got straight onto the benefits office, she got straight onto the housing and she was  getting things done within a matter of weeks I had benefits sorted, I was getting PIP paid. Without Lynne’s help I’d have struggled a thousand times more.
 

Chris

I was diagnosed with the epilepsy prior to discharge in 1992-93, but following this episode as it was caught on the CCTV, I was obviously diagnosed with non-epileptic attack disorder, as well as the epilepsy. So Gary had made an appointment to come round.
 

Gary

And there was no warning that this would happen, we were sat in the flat, he went into the kitchen and I heard all the I heard the guttural sound that’s unique, so I’m watching him and I’m trying to move all the furniture around, and I know he can hear me. If I’m going to give any advice to anybody who’s having a fit ‘talk to them, they can hear you!’
 

Chris

So, I went from one fit into another, came round from the two of them.
 

Gary

So eventually we’re talking, he’s fine, he sleeps it off, and so it says “You go Gaz, I’m ok”, so I do, but I had a feeling and as it turns out he rang me later I was driving the car and on the speakerphone I could hear that guttural noise, he has a fit while I was driving.
 

Chris

I went into a third one, then a fourth, and then a fifth. At which point Gary has explained to me since that the hardest thing he’s ever had to do in his life was hang up that phone to ring an ambulance. Had Gary not been there that morning, I would never have survived.
 

Yvonne

They listened, that was the main thing I actually found somebody who was actually listening to me.
 

Yvonne

Jane is my guardian Angel she is the person who comes from heaven and tells me what I need to know and say.
 

Jane

It’s getting people to chat and having them come back, so that I know that whatever it was we spoke about last time had some value to them so they are willing to come back.
 

Phil

I walked past a couple of times and I thought “Wow, great, somewhere you know we can meet”, because I’m not in touch with anybody locally who’s a veteran really, because we all come from different units, different regiments, but whereas here we can kind of be in touch.
 

Dorinda

The amount of calls that we’ve received over the period of lockdown were too numerous to mention. We ended up increasing support by 100% during. They made thousands of well being calls, we delivered hundreds and hundreds of food parcels, we ended up doing stuff virtually.
 

Withheld

It was difficult but there was always something on the phone, you know they always kept in touch. They would always phone and see how things were.
 

Dorinda

One of the amazing things that the hubs do and one of the amazing things that human beings do is if you create a space and an ability to create a connection in somebody’s own time they perform miracles.
 

Withheld

When you come in here it’s like going back in time to the NAAFI you know I mean the banter is there and when you leave here you’ve had a good laugh and a joke and when you go back out the doors you can you know you can forget what your problems are for the day.
 

Wendy

We’ve got model making sessions going on and we now have our weekly Wednesday coffee and chats and we’ve got other things in the pipeline, taking a steer from the veterans as to the type of thing they’d like to do.
 

Sian

We organise walking, dog walking, I sometimes bring my dog to the hub. We’ve got an allotment running just down the road, it’s literally 5 minutes down the road.
 

Sue

The veterans are offered anything they would like to eat because we’ve all grown it here, the surplus goes down to the FirstLight Trust hub. Everybody gets something.
 

Nathan

Virtual cooking, we’ve got a garden project and Football League we do activity drop ins with art and crafts, different ball games, old school sega mega drive.
 

Sian

It’s all about just getting them together, enjoying one another’s company and just having a laugh.
 

Knit & Natter

It’s nice to come isn’t it and you’re relaxed, it’s easy, there’s no pressure, you don’t feel like you’re odd.
 

Knit & Natter

The banter that you get in the forces that you don’t get anywhere else you get in a place like this.
 

Alan

It’s a nice place to, you know, talk with each other you know, and have a laugh.
 

Grant

Well, it’s just the routine, I like routines. It’s just a home from home.
 

Withheld

Knowing that you can come in a just sit alone if you want to and know that you can be somewhere you’re accepted.
 

Dawn

I think something that they’ve helped me out with more is learning how to accept help.
 

Dorinda

Where we’re going is next is we’re going into London where I never thought we would be needed and in Scotland we’re going into Falkirk where there’s a definite need. My aim would be to look at about possibly 4 other areas that will give us a network across the UK.

My aim has always been to live an ordinary life in safety and I’d like that for everybody.
 

Dorinda

I can’t think of anything better than to feel happy and confident in yourself in the communities that we support I mean that has to me to be the most amazing gift to be able to give.
 

John

Here’s the lady here who’s the saviour, come here Lynne. This is Lynne who I’ve been talking about.  She saved my life. She did. She did. Yeah…
 

Video Archive

For other videos from Firstlight Trust, click here.