The course is aimed at helping veterans better understand and overcome their addictions and as part of it they were put through their Scottish FA Level 1 course today – the second time the course has ran.

Glasgow’s Helping Heroes (GHH) run the 16 week course at the Rangers Study Support Centre at Ibrox to help attendees recognise the impact drugs and alcohol has on them, their families and friends.

The course runs weekly and consists of two hours of self improvement, followed by 30 minutes of fitness training and one hour of coaching with a Rangers Community Coach, with the veterans then working towards an SFA Level 1 coaching certificate.

The workshops, delivered by the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Improvement Team and Glasgow City Council’s Alcohol Team, alternate with sessions run by Gerry Murphy, a life coach specialising in recovery.

Workshops will focus on subjects including:

  • Smoking cessation
  • Healthy eating
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Illegal and prescription drug abuse
  • The physical effects of their lifestyles

The fitness section of the course is led by one of GHH’s clients; a qualified fitness trainer with experiences of alcohol misuse and its consequences.

At the end of the programme GHH will bring in various training, employment and volunteering agencies to help the veterans capitalise on the skills, knowledge and insight they have gained during the course.

Speaking at the launch of the programme, Councillor John Kane, Glasgow City Council, said: “The course aims to work with the veterans to help them look at their lifestyle choices and change their perceptions concerning drugs and alcohol, while allowing them to give back to their communities.

“Glasgow’s Veterans United has been designed to work towards the prevention of alcohol and substances becoming problematic or a crutch by eradicating the social isolation the veterans often face which pushes them towards drink or drugs.

“These sessions will also cover the negative effects alcohol has to a person’s mental health and wellbeing and how this creates a dependency which will leave the individuals struggling to cope with life’s daily challenges.”

Gary Gibson, Community Coach at Rangers Football Club, added: “Rangers are delighted to host the Glasgow Veterans United programme and work alongside key partner organisations on the delivery.

“We look forward to more positive results as the programme progresses.”

Colin McCormack, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Head of Mental Health Services, said: “NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is absolutely committed to supporting our veterans which is our reason for funding this pilot.

“Often men and women returning from combat roles find it difficult to cope with everyday life. This course will provide help, support and encouragement for those struggling with issues with alcohol/lifestyle.”

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