Veteran Problems

I have been visiting narcotics anonymous. Don’t panic! In my role as chief executive of Care after Combat we come into contact with veterans who have problems misusing drugs and abusing alcohol. That is a sad sight to see but I’m afraid the veteran is no different from the other people in society who have trouble managing their lives.

The thing that struck me last night was just how difficult people find quitting drugs is. it seems more difficult than alcohol even though it’s all related. They really try as hard as they can but the stories they tell could make a Vulcan cry.

One guy told of how he has nowhere to go no money and no hope, he suggested that h s only future would be to steal something and go back to prison .”at least you would get a bed and food and friends”.

Care after combat are determined to help our veterans to deal with their deamons and I will do all I can personally to help nonveterans get their lives back whenever I can.

happy new year

Dear God,

2016 saw you take my favourite comedian Ronnie Corbett, my favourite muscisian Keith Emerson, my favourite magician Paul Daniels and my favourite DJ Terry Wogan…please God please know that my favourite politician is Jeremy Corbyn.

 

This is a joke by the way! Please substitute Jeremy for anyone you are not too fond of!

 

Jim

Xmas

What do you buy people for Christmas? It is a nightmare! I love the look on some people’s faces when they open a present and is not what they wanted at all. There was once an old joke that said what do you buy man with everything the answer being, penicillin!

I was checking the old finances the other day and I realised then there isn’t much I wanna spend money on. I have got everything I want, apart from a Princess 65.

I am going to be at home for Christmas although I might going to Charlton Play Milton Keynes on Boxing Day. My lads are here on the 27th, and I’m cooking Turkey on the big green egg… Yummy.

The question on everybody’s mind this Christmas is, how do you cook sprouts? The answer is, Company half fry them with butter add a dash of soy sauce and a sprinkling of flat leaf parsley…

Merry Christmas everybody

Prison visits

I have just returned from visiting Her Majesty’s prison Winchester. We have 23 veterans in Winchester some of whom I’ve known for quite a while now. It was good to see them. I wish more people could see inside our prisons. There are those who think that prison is too soft. There are people who believe that they should be locked up and the key thrown away. There are also people like me who believe that prison should be a place where baddies can learn to be goodies. I applauded Michael Gove when he stated that prisons should not be warehouses to keep people. I totally agree with him. What I see when I visit our prisons is dedicated staff who, despite being short on numbers, go out of their way to try and make the prisoners life bearable, to keep them safe. What we want is to reduce reoffending. It is a known fact that 40% of prisoners will reoffend within the first year of their release, this rises to 60% in year two. This is crazy. Care after Combat take care of former members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces that have found their self behind bars. In the last 18 months we have had 100% success with regards to reoffending. That is a good thing and it is in everybody’s interest that we keep up this good work. Hopefully the information that we have collated over this time can go towards helping other non-veteran groups. It is in everybody’s interest to stop reoffending.

So, Merry Christmas to all our veterans in the criminal justice system. May they do their time in peace and come back to us as better people, and may God give us the strength and the wisdom to welcome them.

The truth is quite boring

headlines are flying about that I think Macintire’s a c*nt…Well!!  here’s what what was really said.(no headlines here!)  Newspapers are shedding staff like autumn leaves so this is what you get.I get interviewed by a girl who sounded like she was in Jeremy Kyle’s green room.
hello is that Jim?
yes
Oh…so you’re going on tour?
yes
Ok why’s that?
Its what I do?
Why?
It’s how I earn my living
Oh
You went on New faces?
Yes
Why’s that.?
eh?
Why did you go on that?
Well its like x Factor is today..except it ws about the acts not the panel..it was for professionals not the karaoke singing on the X factor.
Why is your tour called 40 years on?
I’ve been in show biz for 40 years..
So why do it?
Well it will show the young guns that I’m still around and doing it despite what they say…
You got the OBE
yes
So what Charities do you sponsor?
Eh?
You got it for charity..what ones
Have you done any research on me?
Yes….. you won big Bruvvvarrrr
Bye drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Kent on line…class

GREG LAKE

I went to Greg Lake’s funeral yesterday. It was a very private affair was just family and close friends. It is sad to see him go. He was a genius and had a way of touching people’s hearts with his music and his meaningful lyrics. He will be sadly missed that his art will remain.

Ars longa vita brevis… As they say!

New things

Care after Combat has just completed 18 months of research regarding veterans who end up in prison. I have been involved from the start. Our job is a difficult one because of the nature of the subject.

95% of all service leavers have no problem but there are those who flounder and end up in the criminal justice system.

Numbers vary, but is safe to say we have over 3000 prisoners  who have once served in HM armed forces.

We look after the ones with 12 months of their sentence or less to do. we give them a mentor who helps them form a pathway back to normal life(if there is such a thing)

We have 166(as of today) prisoners on our books. 60 have been released and our success rate of non re- offending in that 18 months is 100%

I have been interim CEO for the last year since our old one threw a track and walked out . It is knackering. I have 14 full time staff and 60 part time. We have a 12 bed hostel in Southampton called Simon Weston House, and three offices!

This all comes to a few quid!  I have to raise 400k plus a year to pay for it all. The money we get goes on paying people to deliver a service to the veterans. Our mentors are volunteers and receive only expenses. But you add that up at 120 visits per month all over the country and it gets scary! We also have a team of psyciatric staff who are invaluable in sorting our blokes out.

Our report will show that veterans in the CJS are responding to our help.But we need to do more…to get our teams into all prisons nationwide. We also need to work more(and are going to) with the NHS, who are really turning up the heat on veteran mental welfare. Funny isn’t it, you never get GOOD news about the NHS.its about time the public know what good a job they are doing for our veterans.

There’s a job offer for me to do this full time. it would mean cutting back my “day job” of touring and live stuff…and all the money that goes with it. Hmmmm.  I can see the head lines now!  Not “Jim gives up 400k a year to work for charity”  thats for sure. But the work needs to be done, I can do it, and I want to do it, but its a lot of responsibility. Still, I’ve been doing for a year and a bit of responsibility will do me good. So come on, go on Care after Combat web site and help us help them.    Right I’m off to Wealsden Prison today and HMP Winchester for Xmas eve….I use to do Panto!!!!

 

merry Xmas all

Christmas

It’s been a really busy year for me. I have been acting as the interim chief executive officer of Care after Combat. It’s the first real job I’ve had since I worked at the Co-op. I will take on the role full-time at the end of this tour. That doesn’t mean I’m packing in the comedy, quite the reverse, I have to go on stage to give me a bit of light relief after the terrifying job of being responsible for 60 staff and 150 veteran prisoners. I’ve also have to raise £400,000 per year. I have a good team and I’m confident that we can continue helping veterans get their life back. I will do some shows in the summer and then I think I might do a play.

 

Have a merry Christmas and I will keep you informed.

birthday

Its my birthday today. If I’d of realised that I would have lived this is long, I would’ve taken better care of myself.

The Keith Emerson tribute concert is selling well. Please call Birmingham Symphony Hall box office for tickets, or check their website.

Greg lake

Greg was a genius. He was also a man who knew what he wanted and didn’t take fools well!  I met him years ago..he was extremely charming. I produced his last tour with a band. I found his band for him and they rehearsed in my studio. I made sandwhiches!

The tour he did was sensational and I am please that I was involved in making Greg sound sensational…some say the best.

We used to laugh a lot. I once described the colour of a car as “Dog Knob red” he laughed at that for a week.

 

he will be missed….oh  he was the best singer I ever heard.