Matt Ford is going to act as a mentor to service personnel having difficulty adjusting to civillian life. Picture by Peter Boam.
AN Isle of Wight ex-soldier is to take a lead role helping serving and former service personnel who find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Matt Ford, 41, from Ryde, who reached the rank of major before leaving the army after 16 years, has become one of just 12 volunteers selected to be trained under the Veteran Mentors Scheme organised by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Probation Trust.
The initiative was set up to offer mentoring support for offenders who have found it difficult to adjust to civilian life.
Matt will work with offenders to offer them a listening ear to help them get the support they need to break the cycle of crime.
The scheme, partly funded by the NHS, aims to reduce the risk of re-offending.
Keen sailor Matt, who has managed the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service’s modernisation programme, put himself forward for mentoring after seeing the challenges that some people have faced when they leave the armed services.
Matt said: "I am excited by the project and hopefully I will be able to provide help and support. Leaving the armed services for civilian life can be a very difficult change."