Plymouth’s work with veterans featured in new Alex Polizzi series

Alex Polizzi is pictured, front, next to Heather Ogburn from Plymouth City Council, with members of the Corporate Covenant.

Alex Polizzi is pictured, front, next to Heather Ogburn from Plymouth City Council, with members of the Corporate Covenant.

Plymouth will be in the national TV spotlight again as a new series for BBC Two, presented by Alex Polizzi, highlights the pioneering work in the city to help veterans back into work.

The presenter has been filming in Plymouth over the past few months for the new BBC Two series ‘Alex Polizzi: Hire Our Heroes’. A number of ex-servicemen are followed in the documentary which features the Corporate Covenant, which is run by Plymouth City Council and works with local businesses to help veterans find employment when they leave the armed forces and return to ‘Civvy Street’.

The series, which has been made by locally based Twofour comes hot on the heels of a two part Antiques Roadshow in Plymouth’s Royal William Yard and the recent filming of the new Comic Strip Presents… film in Plymouth’s iconic Civic Centre.

Veterans are 60% more likely to be unemployed than their civilian counterparts, and, where leaving the armed forces is accompanied by mental illness – as is thought to be the case for one in five veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – the discrepancy can be even worse.

Councillor Pauline Murphy, Plymouth’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “We hope that the programme will help inspire other areas to look at how they provide support to the armed forces as all too often when veterans come back into their local communities they are not given the help they need to adjust back into everyday life and find new careers.”

Councillor Philippa Davey, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities for Plymouth City Council, said: “We are delighted that Plymouth’s fantastic work with the Corporate Covenant is being featured in this documentary. Plymouth has very strong military links and Plymouth City Council is committed to supporting veterans as they make the transition from the armed forces back into civilian life.”

Heather Ogburn, who manages the Corporate Covenant for Plymouth City Council, said: “The series will be a great opportunity to showcase the pioneering work we are doing here in Plymouth with the Corporate Covenant, helping veterans to find a new career and restore their sense of purpose.”

Alex Polizzi said: “I would like to congratulate Plymouth City Council for its work on the Corporate Covenant, they have shown the way forward and other areas could definitely learn from this.”

The programme ‘Alex Polizzi: Hire Our Heroes’ starts on Friday 11 December at 9pm on BBC2.