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



Julie is the Centre Manager for The John Willie Sams Centre in North Tyneside. Julie is an active member of the volunteering team; organising fundraisers, attending events, promoting our charity wherever she goes and always doing it with a huge smile.

'I've volunteered with Forward Assist for over 3 years. Their drive and enthusiasm to help veterans in the North East is truly inspirational. Watching lives change, changes you as a person and I am proud to be a small part of what they do.'


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Sharon signed up with Forward Assist in 2016, becoming one of the first female veterans to join and has been an integral part of the female veterans group. As well as assisiting in our research Sharon has also taken part in a number of activities including volunteering for our memories of service project.

‘Forward Assist are a great charity that puts veterans first. It has helped my build my confidence and meet other veterans who share similar interests. I feel that volunteering gives me the chance to give something back and help others who are struggling with transition.’


Bob is 67 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 January Bob and two other military veterans have volunteered for Forward Assists Cook2Give Project and have cooked over 1,600 healthy nutritious meals since January this year, 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. Currently Bob is being 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.

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



Joanne is a local councillor for North Tyneside council where she represents Weetslade Ward. Joanne volunteers each week for Cook2Give and during the school holidays her youngest daughter, Ava, also attends.

Joanne says:

"I am pleased to be involved as a volunteer in the Forward Assist initiative Cook2Give which provides a much needed resource for the local community. This is done through offering a weekly wholesome cooked meal to the whole community and veterans. By doing so it creates a community spirit."  


My Name is Jacqui and I teach Pilates full time.

Tuesday is my favourite day of the week helping the Forward Assist volunteers in the kitchen cooking for the community. I help serve the meals and wash the dirty pans equipped with my marigolds!!! I enjoy helping because it is great to see such an event bringing people together and I love the camaraderie with the other volunteers in the kitchen. It is great to feel part of something worthwhile and have a laugh at the same time. Thank you to the team at Forward Assist.