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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-16-06

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page

 

New patron and new future for NW veterans charity

 

 

A new charity for Veterans in the North West is bidding to create a dedicated centre for ex armed forces personnel, reservists and their families in Liverpool. Veterans HQ launches with its first patron, The Earl of Derby DL, ahead of Armed Forces Day in Liverpool, on 24 June 2017.

The Veterans HQ charity has been established to support the 87,500 veterans across Liverpool City Region; which evolved out of the Liverpool Veterans project which began life in 2010;  and Veterans HQ are forming strong partnerships with other veterans HUBs  across City boundaries to ensure that every veteran living in the City region gets the same access to support, help and care to empower them to reach their full potential.

The charity has submitted a bid, in partnership with the Sovini Group, to create a dedicated centre for veterans at the site of the first headquarters of the King's Barracks in Everton. The Georgian block on Everton Road was the home of the 9th battalion, King's Liverpool Regiment. The derelict site includes a former parade ground and drill hall. Veterans HQ is one of two organisations that have submitted a bid to regenerate the whole site and give it a new lease of life.

New patron The Earl of Derby DL's great grandfather the 17th Earl of Derby, formed the Pals regiment in World War I. A battalion formed for the King's Regiment, to be recruited from men of the same workplace, thousands of Liverpudlians had volunteered for service, to eventually be formed into the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th Battalions. Collectively, the battalions became known as the City of Liverpool battalions or "Liverpool Pals."

The North West recruits 37% of all the armed forces; the highest percentage of any region in the UK. Many veterans leave service with acute mental health and social needs. The charity is hoping that if its bid for the former barracks is successful, it will be able to offer education and employability support as well as signposting Veterans to services run by partner agencies to help connect them with support around housing, alcohol dependency, social isolation and loneliness, and making the transition back into civilian society in a dedicated headquarters and centre.

Stuart Fitzgerald, one of Veterans HQ's trustees and spokesman, says:- "Veterans are a hugely untapped resource in our economy. With the right helping hand, it can be easier for them to make the transition from the armed forces to civilian life. Some Veterans and their families may need our support in the longer term whilst others only dip in on a 1 off basis; it's always based on their personal need.  Veterans HQ is already supporting over 600 individuals and their families. Most are men, some had been in trouble with the Police and might be in custody and others were put in touch with Veterans HQ through housing associations. Some needed emergency food parcels or help on their welfare rights. In other cases, families self refer to get support helping their family member to re-adjust to civilian and family life as they leave the cocoon of the military for the last time. Very few Veterans present with simple, singular needs whilst the majority can be struggling with many complex challenges. With the right support, these former forces personnel, from all walks of life, can give themselves a 2nd chance."

 

The Earl of Derby DL says:- "I am absolutely delighted to serve as Patron of an organisation that provides so much help to so many in need in an area of work - the armed services; which has always been close to my family's heart."
 

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