Centre to help struggling troops and their families
A ONE-STOP shop to give employment, health and training advice to soldiers and their families is to open in Beeston.
Notts-based charity Support Our Forces is launching the centre, which has been made possible through the Armed Forces Community Covenant grant scheme.
Broxtowe Borough Council signed a pledge last year to support the Armed Forces and has handed £53,081 to this project.
The new centre, in Cross Street, will be opened on January 23 and will offer serving personnel, veterans, partners and families assistance with employment, housing, addiction, mental health, loneliness and general advice.
Rick Harrington, who served in the Army from 1983 to 1994, is the founder of the Support Our Forces charity, said: “The plans have been in the pipeline for about a year now and it’s a shame something like this is needed, but it really is.
“With increasing numbers of people leaving the Forces owing to cutbacks, this centre will become increasingly important. Whether it’s dealing with mental health issues through to how to deal with household bills, we will be supporting troops and their families.
“I know I would have appreciated this support when I left the Army in 1994 – I struggled and I am hoping that other people don’t have to go through something similar.”
Mr Harrington, from Mapperley, added that Forces in the Community is aiming to build a close link between employers in Beeston.
There will be an open day for employers and support organisations to find out about the project on January 24, and an open day for Veterans on Friday, January 25, both from 10.30am to 3pm.
The Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, Milan Radulovic, said: “Local people are rightly proud of the borough’s connections with the Armed Forces and it is so important that we remember and honour the incredible sacrifices they make. We are delighted to welcome Forces in the Community to Beeston, which represents one of the best examples of the invaluable support the Community Covenant will offer to the local Forces and their families.”
The council, Broxtowe Borough Partnership, Beeston BID and Voluntary Action Broxtowe signed the Community Covenant pledge with the Armed Forces locally and Armed Forces charities earlier this year, enabling each organisation to apply for Ministry of Defence funding to strengthen ties with the local Armed Forces community.
In October 2012, four projects linked to the Covenant received over £240,000 to support that pledge – including £53,081 awarded to Support Our Forces to set up Forces in the Community.
For more information contact Rick Harrington or Claire Knee on 01159 220 320 01159 220 320 , or e-mail email@example.com.
By Alexander Britton