Legion helps fund service leavers taking steps towards a career in media

The Royal British Legion has contributed £800,000 to support the Forces Media Academy which offers veterans a unique opportunity to gain new skills and qualifications in media production.

Service leavers and veterans have embarked on a free one-year Higher National Certificate (HNC) Media Production Course, provided by the newly created Forces Media Academy.

Through this course, the Forces Media Academy, which is part of the Services Sound & Vision Corporation (SSVC), aims to provide 15 ex-service personnel with the training, experience and qualifications they need to forge successful careers in videography, digital, TV or radio.

The Forces Media Academy is supported by The Royal British Legion, which provides each student with a bursary of £18,000 to help with living costs.

Freddie Ellison is one of the 15 selected for the course. He joined the Royal Navy in 2008 and spent time on the front line in Afghanistan.

Freddie states: “Being accepted into the Forces Media Academy means the world to me. It means that I will be able to express my creativity.”

Freddie Ellison
Freddie Ellison

During his deployment Freddie faced IED attacks, came under small arms fire and treated many serious casualties in his role as a medic. He found these experiences incredibly testing and was ultimately diagnosed with PTSD, causing him to be discharged from the Royal Navy in February 2017 after 9 years’ service.

Forces Media Academy Director, Alistair Halliday, said: “This course is a perfect fit for service leavers and veterans with an interest in, and aptitude for, the media. It will equip them with skills for a range of roles such as a producer, multimedia journalist, and content creator.”

“The Forces Media Academy is part of SSVC, which has a proven history of media production with long-established and close links with the media, digital, and broadcast industries.

“We’ll harness these to set up high quality work experience which will enhance the ability of the students to get a good job afterwards,” added Halliday.

 “We are most grateful for the support of charities and companies, in particular The Royal British Legion, which has most generously provided the bursary.”

 The Royal British Legion's Head of Grants and Social Policy, Steven Baynes, said: "The Academy’s work is innovative and practical, building on the existing and highly transferrable skills of those who serve in HM Armed Forces.

“We’re eager to follow the first cohort’s progress, and proud to provide bursary funding to make the course accessible to as many future media professionals as possible."

For more information and to apply for the course in September 2018, visit www.forcesacademy.com.

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