Project Nova

Project Nova is a unique initiative that supports ex-Forces personnel who have entered police custody. Launched on 1st July 2014, it is delivered as a partnership between RFEA and Walking With The Wounded (WWTW). Nova currently operates in the East of England, the North East, North West and South Yorkshire and Humberside.

The project sees us working in partnership with:

What Project Nova Offers

Project Nova provides advice, guidance and support to ex-Forces personnel using a ‘Nova Network’ of military charities and organisations that can assist ex-Forces personnel, responding to their individual needs.  Nova’s core aim is early intervention and diversion at point of arrest, in order to try and prevent re-offending further down the line.

In 2016 445 ex-services personnel were supported by Project Nova.  It is co-ordinated at the national level by Colin Back, who has worked closely with the regional Police Custody Suites to identify, support and engage with ex-Forces personnel.

Colin served in the Army for six years, then as a Police Officer with Norfolk and Kent Police Force. He then took up an appointment as a Specialist Employment Consultant for RFEA, supporting ex-Forces personnel in prison, before taking on the role of Project Nova National Manager.

Measuring Success

In the East of England Project Nova is being underpinned by an academic evaluation which is being carried out by Anglia Ruskin University and funded by Forces in Mind Trust, to measure its effectiveness and successful outcomes.

Project Nova is one of the interventions featured in Former Members of the Armed Services and the Criminal Justice System, A Review on Behalf of the Secretary of State for Justice (December 2014).


“Colin and Swanny,

…you have helped me break through barriers and leap over brick walls to reach where I am now and for that I will always be grateful. I would like to put something back if I can and offer to mentor anyone in a similar situation to how you found me. 

A very big thankyou”