If you would like to volunteer for Forward Assist, please contact Paula Edwards by phone: 0191 250 4877 or email: paula@forward-assist.com.

Bob Wilson (Volunteer)

Bob is 70 years old and served for 15 years as a Forward Observer with the Royal Artillery. His operational duties took him to Germany & Northern Ireland whereupon he trained as a motor mechanic & military vehicle driving instructor. Bob left the Army and had a successful civilian career as a long distance lorry driver and driving instructor. He retired in 2011 and got involved with Forward Assist in 2013 to reduce social isolation and meet with other veterans on a daily basis. Since 2013 Bob, along with several other military veterans, have volunteered for Forward Assists Cook2Give Project and have cooked over 7,600 healthy nutritious meals since January 2017, for veterans and the wider community. As well as gaining his Food Hygiene Certificates Bob has discovered a new talent for baking after the team were taught how to bake bread & pastries by an Artisan Baker. Bob is trained as a coffee Barista and serves coffee to veterans and members of the public at the Forward Assist Salute Café. In June 2017 Bob was awarded the North- Tyneside Council Chairpersons Commendation Bronze Award for Volunteering. He volunteers on a daily basis for Forward Assist doing a variety of different things including picking veterans up for Forward Assist’s Drop In and Cook2Give Project.

“Cook2Give stops me being isolated and gives me a reason to get out of the house and help others.”

Hannah Graham (Volunteer)


Hannah is a third year university student, studying Occupational Therapy at York St John University. During her placement at Forward Assist she has helped support numerous veterans as well as supporting the team with admin tasks etc. We are delighted she now wants to volunteer with the Charity and currently facilitates the Salute Her Mosaic Art Project as well as helping out on the Salute Coffee Truck in her spare time.

“I loved my placement and working with the veterans at Forward Assist. I see how much the activities and help means to the veterans and I wanted to continue being able to provide that.”

Gemma Hall (Volunteer)


Gemma is a third year University of Sunderland Social Sciences Student currently studying sociology. During her placement with Forward Assist Gemma has helped facilitate the Veterans ‘Drop In’ every Tuesday and has carried out a much needed evaluation of services delivered by Team Forward Assist. Gemma now volunteers once a week with the Drop In and Salute Her Women Veterans Project.

“I like volunteering at Forward Assist as I am working alongside a lovely team who really are making a difference to veteran’s lives and hopefully I can help too, even if it’s just by lending an ear.”