FORMER MEMBERS of the armed forces are being supported to learn about doorstep scams and online fraud in a free course taking place in Richmondshire.
The course, which is for veterans or ex-National Servicemen aged 65 and over, is aimed at those who may not use computers on a regular basis or may have become isolated at home. It is hoped it will grow awareness around the issue and protect older people from fraud.
‘Keeping Safe – Avoiding Scams’ is being run conjointly by Ex-Forces Support North Yorkshire and the Adult Learning and Skills Service at North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC). The latter is able to provide funding and tutors for learning courses across the county benefitting the unemployed, unwaged, or disadvantaged members of the community.
Caroline Ferguson, NYCC Adult Learning, said: “We are looking forward to working with the voluntary sector to reach more communities. Working together enables us to target adult learners who may not normally engage, and in turn we are able to provide the right educational opportunities that are needed.
“We can gain a deeper insight into the educational needs of our community.”
The course will focus on door-to-door salesmen fraud, telephone scams, and online safety. Learners will not need any digital skills in order to take part and will come away with a greater understanding of how to protect themselves from such situations.
Ex-Forces Support North Yorkshire, a programme run by Community First Yorkshire as part of a consortium of charities in the region, provides practical and financial support to older veterans and has identified the subject as an area of need.
Candy Dowson, Ex-Forces Support North Yorkshire, said: “Many people have the assumption that ex-members of the armed forces know how to look after themselves when they are out in the world, and in most cases this is true.
“However for our more vulnerable veterans who are over 65, they may not have grown up with computers, or may have located to North Yorkshire after their service. We are an extremely rural region where social isolation can become an issue in later life, which in turn can make us a hotspot for fraudulent scams.
“A friendly face at the door or a friendly voice on the telephone isn’t always what it seems. We want to grow vigilance amongst our older veterans who spent many of their own years taking care of us.”
The free course takes place Thursday 15th February from 10am to 1pm at Mercury House, Richmondshire District Council, Richmond. Lunch and refreshments included though spaces are on a first come first served basis. Call 01904 704 177 to book.
Candice Dowson, Project Manager, Community First Yorkshire – 01904 704 177
Jo or Louise, Marketing and Communications – 01904 704 177
Community First Yorkshire was created by the merger of North Yorkshire & York Forum and Rural Action Yorkshire in April 2017. Between them, these two organisations have over 80 years’ worth experience of supporting communities and the voluntary sector.
The organisation provides practical support to voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises, with the overall aim of helping groups and charities to achieve their goals and better support their service users.
Community First Yorkshire continues Rural Action Yorkshire’s previous work as a Rural Community Council for North, South and West Yorkshire under the national umbrella of ACRE. It will continue to promote rural communities and enhance the quality of life for people living in these areas.
The organisation also provides programme management for large, regional consortium projects such as Ex-Forces Support North Yorkshire and, previously, Warm and Well in North Yorkshire.
Ex-Forces Support North Yorkshire launched in June 2017 and is funded by the Aged Veterans Fund at the Ministry of Defence, as funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds. It is raising awareness of former and older members of the armed forces in our region and offering practical, financial and targeted support. The aim of this is to enable veterans to lead fuller lives in the way they would like and respond to their needs and issues. A large part of the work is around addressing loneliness, social isolation and financial hardship.
The service accepts self-referrals as well as those from friends/family and frontline professionals e.g. health, social care, voluntary sector. A referral can be made by contacting 01904 704 177 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.