A ground-breaking organisation is pledging to expand services after moving to St Helens.
The Veterans Council - founded in Wigan in 2008 - is relocating to larger premises within historic Rainford Hall in St Helens, following success is securing a major Forces grant.
Three months ago it was awarded £499,332 from the Libor Fund (Armed Forces Covenant) to establish a dedicated “One Stop Shop” for the Armed Forces Community across the North West.
But the volunteer organisation was quick to insist that the Veterans Council will continue to deliver services in Wigan.
It was formerly based in Community Zone offices in Platt bridge’s Ribble Road.
Chairman and one of the founders Des White acknowledged the “tremendous support” the council has provided to the Charity over the past five years. He said today that its growing number of services are being developed to “restore our moral obligation” to the members of the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force, together with their families.
Chief Executive Officer of the Veterans Council Janet Gorry said that the organisation remained committed to working in Wigan and in partnership with the Armed Forces Community, ex-service organisations and other key stakeholders to develop initiatives that address the day to day challenges facing veterans who have given so much for their country.
She said: “We have an moral obligation to recognize those who have performed military duties and value their contribution.
“To achieve this there is no greater expression of our gratitude than in upholding the Armed Forces Covenant, Community Covenants and Corporate Covenants.“
The Veterans Council’s volunteers include former members of the armed forces who have “also known hard times” up to and including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
It provides practical advice and guidance for veterans of all ages, backgrounds and military services.
And can signpost to a wide variety of organisations, including Housing, Health and Social Care, Employment and Education, Social Activities and more.
Chairman Mr White, a Navy veteran, said: “Many of the people we help live in social housing, including homes owned by Wigan and Leigh Housing Association.
“However we are aware there are many more people who do not know we are here to help them in their darkest hour.
“We urge them to get in touch.”
The Armed Forces Covenant (Libor) Fund was founded by Chancellor George Osborne in 2012 with £35 million to the Ministry of Defence from fines levied on banks for attempting to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) benchmark for interest rates.
This fund is to be used specifically to support the Armed Forces Community.
The Armed Forces Covenant (Libor) Fund, as it is now known, delivers financial support to projects which support the aims of the Armed Forces Covenant.with