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News Report Page 4 of 18
Publication Date:-
News reports located on this page = 3.

"Pull up a sandbag and sing the lamp..."
Report by:- Benedikt Bisig and Jack Maher.  Photos by:- VAMPHire.Com

THE group helps veterans to interact socially with other people, and helps create a 'family' of like minded people who can relate to and understand each other's past. It's staff, mentors and volunteers are all former Armed Forces Personnel or have an in depth knowledge of the Forces culture. The means group can give it's members the opportunity to talk about their past with fellow veterans and people who understand them. 1 of the staff said:- "Don't worry, it is not sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself all the time. The group is all about having fun, good 'banter' and creating an relaxed atmosphere." some of the members told us that:- "members find it easy to connect with other and discuss current affairs, as well as past ones, in the knowledge that others in the group will understand them."

The Byng House collaboration has already began to help local veterans find work and new homes, as well as support them to access mental health, drug and alcohol services. The group meets every week on Tuesday, and they have tea, coffee and biscuits, with a member adding that:- "the team at Byng House really look after us really well. The place is easy to get to due to the good train and bus links, which allows people from all over the area, like Southport, Ainsdale and Crosby, to attend the group."

The informal group is increasing in size, which is a testament to the quality of the project. A member of the group who has been attending for a while said that he has witnessed the group growth from:- "around a dozen to now over 30." Many of the veterans who attended the meetings have become permanent Poppy Club members who often meet on Thursday afternoons for live entertainment, provided by Byng House.

When asked how the facility compares to other similar facilities, 1 member of the group said:- "I think it's above them, they look after us here." The staff are very friendly and happy to chat, when 1 of the staff was asked why they chose to join this line of work, he said he is an ex-serviceman who wants to:- "give back to the society."

The Sefton Veterans project is funded by NHS South Sefton CCG, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and the Charity Expected Ltd and runs in partnership with Sefton CVS and Sefton Council.

The Veterans in Sefton group meetings times are as follows:-

► Southport - Byng House, on Tuesdays, from 10:30am to 12:30pm (PR81QU)

► Bootle - Brunswick Youth and Community Centre, on Wednesdays, from 10:30am to 12:30pm (L204JQ)

► Netherton - Senior NAAFI Break, James Horrigan Court, on Fridays, from 10:30am to 12:30pm (L204JQ)

For more information please call:- 0151 9330800 or visit:- VeteransInSefton.Org.UK.

The Ship and Anchor Veterans Event

THE Ship and Anchor, on Cable Street, Southport, have been proudly supporting Armed Forces Day, on Sunday, 30 June 2019. The local, independent pub held an event for Veterans, thanks to the P.I.G Riders, Bikes and Trikes Mcc and Southport Cruisers, along with MHL&R's Steve n Charlie. The event not only included a collection, but also a fantastic display for bikers as well as live music from the duo April Moon. For more information about the venue please visit their Facebook Page.


Military veterans in Merseyside invited to share their story of recovery from PTSD

VETERANS' mental health charity Combat Stress is inviting former servicemen and women they have supported to share their story of recovery, to be filmed at the Museum of Liverpool and St Helen's RFC stadium. To commemorate the charity's centenary this year, Combat Stress has partnered with reminiscence arts charity Age Exchange to interview 100 veterans and their families across the UK.

The interviews will create a living archive called Combat Stress 100, which will be available to view by veterans and their families seeking mental health treatment in the future, as well as by medical professionals and students to better understand military related trauma. The interviews will also form part of a multimedia exhibition that will tour the country later this year to raise awareness of veterans' mental health and the support available. Interviews, which last approx. 45 minutes, will take place at St Helen's RFC Totally Wicked Stadium, on 18 July and 19 July and at the Museum of Liverpool, on 20 July and 31 July 2019.

Veterans will be filmed talking about their experience of serving in the military, how it had an impact on their mental health and what support they received from Combat Stress. They will not be asked to go into detail about the cause of their trauma. Partners and adult children are also welcome to share their stories as the mental health of veterans can have an impact on their loved ones.

Sue Freeth, Chief Executive of Combat Stress, said:- "This is an invaluable opportunity to share the stories of veterans and their families who will convey in their own words the impact of living with military-related mental health. By creating a living archive of veterans' stories, as well as those of their loved ones, we aim to further reduce the barrier to seeking help and increase the public understanding and respect for the impact on individuals' lives."

Karen O'Rourke, Curator of Urban and Military History at the Museum of Liverpool, said:- "We are honoured to be 1 of the North West venues to host this incredible event for the Combat Stress and Age Exchange project. The work they do in terms of helping ex-service personnel and providing unwavering support for those who live with mental health issues is so important. We want to help to raise awareness of the support that is available for veterans suffering from PTSD."

Steve Leonard, Saints Foundation Director, said:- "We would like to thank Combat Stress for asking Saints Community Development Foundation to assist in this programme. A programme that gives the Veterans of the Foundation an opportunity to share their story which can inspire others on their own journey. I believe this will be a really powerful aid and feel tremendous pride that such a prestigious charity as Combat Stress has seen our work and has brought us on board. I know that between all the partners involved we will make a massive difference to the lives of not only veterans, but their families too."

To register interest in taking part, veterans or their family members should send them an email to:- Stories@CombatStress.Org.UK stating which date they'd like to do an interview.  This unique project has been made possible by a significant award of ₤98,300 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

News Report Audio Copy


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