If you would like to volunteer for Forward Assist, please contact us by calling 0191 250 4877 or emailing us at admin@forward-assist.com.



Julie is the centre manager for a number of sites in North Tyneside, including John Willie Sams Centre where Forward Assist are based. Julie is an an instrumental part 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.'



Alan initially joined up with Forward Assist in 2015 to get support for his PTSD and social isolation issues. Since joining the charity Alan has fully taken part on a variety of activities which has given him the confidence to become a volunteer. He is currently a fulltime volunteers and runs the kitchen for our Cook2Give programme.

‘Forward Assist have helped me become the person I was before I left the Army. I have gained many new friends since volunteering with them as well as many different skills. I am now looking forward to moving into employment with the help of Forward Assist and moving on with my life’.



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” 


Geoff served 4 years in the Territorial Army followed by 22 years as a regular in the Royal Army Ordinance Corp. He left the military in 1994 and worked in a variety of jobs before gaining sustained employment in the civil service. After his retirement he discovered Forward Assist after moving to the Dudley area and helped the Cook2Give team prepare jams and chutneys which were later sold to raise funds for the project. He joined the Cook2Give team cooking meals for older Veterans on a monthly basis but since January 2017 he has worked alongside the other Cook2Give volunteers and has helped prepare cook and serve over 1600 meals for Veterans and the wider community.  In June 2017 Geoff was awarded the North-Tyneside Council Chairpersons Commendation Bronze Award for Volunteering. Geoff said,

 “It’s an honour to be given this award as helping others has helped me in so many ways”



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.