Our services are focussed on real work and the skills that are needed to achieve employment, whether that is voluntary, part-time or full-time work.

We work with individual clients to help them find suitable work that meets their skills in their home areas and fits their personal and family needs.  Our Employer Engagement Team will provide support for jobsearch, interview techniques, CV writing and job applications that will win the attention of an employer.

Our employer network is extensive and extends small, medium and large sized employers in the Northern region.

Case Studies - Into Employment

Keith attended the Fork Lift Operative course held at Finchale in March 2017 and within two weeks gained entry into full time employment. 

Keith Fork Lift Truck


I would just like to say a really big Thank you, to you, and everyone at Finchale.

When I first met you I was in a mental hospital, I was offered help and support without being judged and being treated with respect and understanding.

Then when I met with you I had only just been released from prison, and once again I was supported, and treated with respect and understanding.


Keith joined the Navy in 2006 and completed four years services, on leaving the Navy he was successfully employed in a number of jobs including engineering and warehouse work.  However, a couple of years into life in civvy street Keith suffered from flair ups of PTSD, he feels that leaving the Navy and problems he had not fully addressed since child hood contributed to him becoming self-destructive.  During this time Keith committed two criminal offences for which he received a custodial sentence.  On review it was decided that Keith would gain more from mental health support services rather than being in prison and served ¾ of this sentence before being released. He received a lot of support from his psychiatrist and his CPN which Keith felt was extremely helpful whilst still  trying to find his feet in civilian life and dealing with child hood issues.

We will continue to support Keith and wish him every success in his new job

Former soldier launches business with help from Finchale.

Peter Stewart

Cramlington-based Peter Stewart started his garden and property maintenance business STEW’s property Maintenance in April 2016, and it has since gone from strength to strength - even enabling him to recruit two ex-forces personnel to meet the demands of his growing customer base.

But this is not where Peter’s story began. After almost a decade in the Army and a tour of Iraq in 2003, he was discharged and his life was turned upside down.


On Civvy Street, Peter took a few different jobs ranging from driving to roofing, but never really settled. For the first time in his career he was claiming benefits, debt was mounting and he turned to alcohol to avoid dealing with the situation in front of him.

Peter said: “I was gutted that I had let things get in such a mess and I couldn’t see a way out. At my lowest point we lost the family home that my wife and I had worked so hard to buy, I’d landed myself with a criminal record for the way I was handling things and the whole family was walking on egg shells.”

Peter arrived on the doorstep of Finchale - a Durham based charity which provides health, training and work support to veterans and their families - lacking confidence, belief and direction.

His caseworker at Finchale, Tracey Hughes said:

“When Peter and I first met he talked about self-employment. I could see that this was achievable but Peter didn’t seem to think so because of his financial situation, his recent, although minor blemish on his CRB record and the commitments he had to his family. I could see straight away from his CV that he had a number of transferrable skills from his time in the Forces and it was evident that he was multi--skilled in general construction.”

Tracey arranged for Peter to talk his plans through with a local employer and Finchale’s CEO, both ex-forces personnel with a good understanding of Peter’s situation.

Peter worked hard on his business plan and approached different organisations that provide financial support to enable him to realise his dream. He had many rejected applications, but Peter persevered and finally struck gold by securing a grant to help him buy the equipment and take out the insurances he needed to get the business up and running.

Since starting STEW’s Property Maintenance, Peter’s life has changed for the better. He said:

“Being in the military, like running your own business is very hard work. In the Army you always put in the extra effort because you don’t want to let anyone down. In that respect it’s very similar to owning your own business. There have been lots of ups and downs and challenges along the way but I am grateful for the support I've had to get me here.

"There were times when I never thought things would get better and, for me, finding and accepting help was by far the biggest step. There are some wonderful organisations out there who provide vital services to individuals such as myself and I would urge others to get in contact. It's never too late to make changes and, with the support of Finchale, I've completely transformed my life.”

Andy Wildish, Veterans Service Manager at Finchale said

“Veterans are often highly skilled and Peter is no exception. We support over 200 veterans and their families each year and understand that no matter how long you have served leaving the military is a big step. It will impact every part of your life from work, to home, lifestyle and identity.

“Peter’s journey has not been straightforward and has required a lot of grit, determination and perseverance on his part but there is no doubt that his history of rigorous training, discipline and a strong work ethic has helped him to make a success of his business. We wish him all the very best with his venture.”

Case Study: Kevin Quinn

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Licensed to Protect…

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Iain's Story

Iain served in the Royal Navy from 1988 – 2012 rising to the rank of Chief Petty Officer and seeing active service during the Gulf War.

Iain worked overseas for a period as a Maritime Security professional; however, after a while he decided that he wanted a change of career but was unsure which direction to go in. Although HGV driving had been suggested to Iain, due to the constant demand for drivers, he wasn’t sure that this role would be for him.

It was at this point in his transition that he contacted Finchale Veteran’s Services and explained his situation. He was consequently visited by a Veteran’s Services caseworker in his home who recommended a referral to one of Finchale’s personal employment coaches. The coach was able to give him a range of useful options from which he could choose a new career path. In addition, Iain received a range of employability related skills support and even took the opportunity to study to raise his levels of literacy and numeracy.

After a while Iain chose to re-train as an assessor and engaged on an on-line course of study which was funded by Durham County Council’s Welfare Reform Scheme.

While Iain completes his studies, which he’s enjoying, he has been successful in securing employment with Bespoke Concrete.

Case Study: Stephen Ilbury

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Case Study: Veteran A

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Allan’s Story

Allan 30, visited the job centre for two years, never progressed and was getting incredibly frustrated and angry. After 8 years of service in the Royal Navy it all came to an abrupt end after he damaged his leg in a sporting accident. He never mentioned to the jobcentre that he was a veteran or ex-serviceman because he didn’t feel it relevant. Once he did disclose his service the jobcentre contacted Finchale Veterans’ Services. He was contacted by a Finchale case worker who visited him at home and formulated an action plan with Allan, which focused on his desire to find a job. In addition, Allan also required assistance with both benefits and military claims, requested the support of his case worker at a GP appointment and attended sessions with the well-being counsellor at Finchale.

Allan progressed quickly and was introduced to a personal employment coach who explored Allan’s history and between them they identified Allan’s focus for employment, ambulance driving.  Allan studied to upgrade his functional skills attended three driving courses all relating to his job outcome, attended a placement with the Fire Service and Ambulance Service and is now driving an ambulance for a living.

“What a great feeling to be back in control, family is in good order, got some new mates, the team are well focused and I’ve got to thank the guys at Finchale, life savers…”  Allan

Of clients complete their programme with us