ARMED forces veterans are set to be given more help when they return to civilian life thanks to a brand new centre and charity.
A special covenant has been signed by Fylde Council and Brigadier Nick Fitzgerald, Lancashire’s senior military representative, committing more help to service personnel – and the St Annes new centre is set to ensure they know where to get it.
And a new military charity – Veterans for Fylde – has also been established in a bid to raise funds to help them and their families deal with issues including work, education and finance.
Coun Edward Nash, the council’s armed forces member representative and a former Major in the Royal Artillery, has been key to establishing the covenant, with the centre to be housed in his office on Richmond Road.
He said: “People in the armed forces sometimes feel unsupported once they have rejoined civilian life.
“The problem we have is that ex-servicemen do not know where to go for help. They can call into the new centre for a cup of tea or to seek help.
“There are 150 service charities. They can be a bit of a thicket and we will point people in the right direction for all kinds of help.
“We’ll also be involving private firms in trying to get people back to work and doing an audit of the area’s war memorials – some were placed in workplaces and churches and we’d hate to see them neglected.”
The new covenant, which was signed by council leader Coun David Eaves on behalf of the people of Fylde, commits the council and public and private bodies to work together for the benefit of veterans.
And Coun Nash – who established the new charity alongside Wing Commander and former councillor Ray Nosworthy and Coun Frank Andrews, national chairman of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Association – added: “I expect to see veterans’ associations, training organisations and ex-services clubs working closer together so that ex-service people know they are not forgotten. We want them to know that the people of Fylde appreciate the protection and service given to us by the armed forces.”
Other aims of the charity include helping former service people who are now housed at Kirkham Prison and eventually organising an ex-servicemen’s dinner in November, on the eve of Armistice Day.