We are opening our doors for business!

Colin Sellars – RAF Veteran

Veterans Next Step – the online directory that showcases the professional skills and trades of self-employed, retired service veterans – launches fully to the public on 1 November 2018. Here at www.veteransnextstep.co.uk the public can easily find a wide range of skilled professionals and tradespeople based in towns and cities across the UK.

We are the UK’s only register of skills and trades offered by former personnel of the armed forces and emergency services – the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, and Fire and Rescue. We offer services from car valeting to graphic design, painting and decorating to driving tuition, and health therapists to electricians, plus much more. At present we have a particular focus on its origins in the north west and Merseyside but is spreading fast, with 80+ different business sectors listed.

Ian Furlong – Army Veteran

Founded by Darren Melia with registration open to veterans since March 2018, our site features such professionals as Colin Sellars, who completed 22 years with the RAF, serving in the Falklands and Yugoslavia, and who now runs the heritage and planning consultancy Chartwood Planning in South West England. Or Ian Furlong, who saw seven years’ army service before retiring and setting up Independent Pest Control & Hygiene Services, based in the North West.

Darren Melia said: “More than 14,000 service personnel join civvy street each year, many with a high calibre of skills and training that would be so useful in their local communities, backed by the work ethics you’d associate with service professionals. Some go into employment, while some become self-employed or set up their own small business. The public launch of Veterans Next Step makes those self-motivated experts easy to find for customers who are looking for conscientious and reliable service providers.”

For customers, the service is free and users will also be able to leave and read rated reviews.

We are encouraging Veterans to register their details at www.veteransnextstep.co.uk/registration , where

Darren Melia – Founder

registration costs only £5 (to cover admin) and the normal £25 monthly fee is waived for the first year, giving veterans 12 months of free publicity, which may be a particular benefit for those just starting out.

Darren Melia continued: “Veterans Next Step is also keen to help in other ways. 10% of all revenue is ring fenced and allocated to self-employed veterans who may need financial help. Monetary gifts from this will be awarded to support veterans during the start-up process or to assist with the purchase of things like tools, vehicles or specialised training. The gift allocation will be overseen by an independent veterans charity.”

He concluded: “In the UK we’re so very proud of our services veterans who give so much, put themselves in danger and ask so little. As they set out with their own businesses, Veterans Next Step lets us all say thank you to them, at the same time as we benefit from their extraordinary levels of skill, knowledge, motivation and commitment.”