Military Bereavement

Nicola has specialised in working with military bereavement, through her clinical and consultancy work and doctoral research.

Soldiers in mind

In 2012, Nicola designed and developed the Soldiers in Mind initiative, a specialist service aimed at supporting military families following a death in the line of duty. Funded by the Lt Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial Trust over a two year period, this enabled support to be given to bereaved military families across the UK and internationally. Working in collaboration with military units and military support personnel, Nicola provided practical, emotional and psychological assistance using a trauma informed framework, in which to deliver a range of family-focused interventions.

Since the completion of the initiative in 2014, Nicola has continued to develop specialist training and clinical consultancy focusing on military bereavement. In addition she acts as an advisor for military units following fatal training incidents, working in partnership with both military and legal professionals, in the support of families throughout the inquest process. In 2016, she was appointed as the clinical consultant for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) inspection of the Royal Military Police, and their investigation of deaths overseas.

Research

Nicola is currently undertaking doctoral level research at the University of Cardiff, which focuses on exploring the impact of the military’s response on the bereaved military family following a death in active service. Having interviewed twenty military families, bereaved between 2006 and 2017, she is now in the final stages of her studies.
Image credit

Photograph of Ranger David Gordon Dalzell, from Bangor, Northern Ireland. Taken by Derek Eland as part of his project ‘Diary Rooms: Being human on the front-line in Afghanistan’. David had taken a photograph of the child and was showing it to him. The little boy had never seen a photograph of himself before. Both David and the child’s friend are captured in Derek’s photograph, explaining that it is an image of him. The photograph was taken shortly before David’s death. He was killed on 4th February, 2011 whilst serving in Afghanistan with 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment. Permission to include the photograph and the story behind it has been given by his parents, Gordon and Susan Dalzell who told me that whilst ‘to the World he was a soldier…’, to them ‘…he was the World’.

Photograph reproduced with kind permission from Derek Eland.

Get in touch

Nicola welcomes the opportunity to discuss psychological trauma consultancy, training, supervision and clinical support to organisations and individuals, both in the UK and internationally.

Email

consultancy@nicolalester.co.uk

Phone

07912 763247