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Shoulder to Soldier and The Hub Warrrington secure MOD Funding
Cheshire Armed Forces HUb funding success
The Warrington Armed Forces Hub has secured funding from the Ministry of Defence to deliver its services to Armed Forces Families (serving & former serving) across the whole of Cheshire.
Last year the Hub dealt with 81 new clients, providing direct access to support, advice, and guidance, including; employment, debt, benefits, welfare, mental health difficulties, housing, homelessness, drug & alcohol problems, Welfare Poppy Breaks, health & wellbeing, peer support/advocacy, and anything else that veterans feel they may be struggling with or benefit from.
The bid will see for the first time a permanent Cheshire wide Armed Forces Officer based at the Hub working in partnership with a newly formed Charity Shoulder to Soldier. This is the first time such a role has been created across the Northwest Region. Gavin Jones the Hub’s experienced Manager will carry out this role at the Hub.
The bid was supported by all the Cheshire Local Authorities, Warrington Borough Council, Halton Borough Council, Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Steve Patterson Trustee said “We are delighted that the Ministry of Defence had the confidence in our proposal and being ex forces I know all too well how important it is to receive the correct advice and support. Transitioning from the Military into civilian life can be challenging for some ex forces and we will be here to help and advise. This is an exciting opportunity to really make a difference across the whole of Cheshire”
Linda Fisher Founder and Trustee of Shoulder to Soldier said, “This is just what is needed and it is great to see all of the Cheshire Authorities supporting the creation of the role of a full time Cheshire wide Armed Forces Officer. I hope that other areas follow suit, it is what is needed. We look forward to delivering this work with the Hub working with all the Cheshire Authorities, we will be engaging with our Armed Forces Communities to gain their views and ensure that we keep them up to date on the work taking place” The Armed Forces Centre Warrington was opened in 2014 and since 2016 has been led by the Hub Warrington Charity and operates from The Gateway Sankey Street. The Armed Forces Community is encouraged to get in touch.
Councillor Brian Jones (Armed Forces Members Champion, Cheshire West and Chester Council) said: “This is great news for the armed forces community in Cheshire, and we look forward to working with the Armed Forces Community Support Hub and Shoulder to Soldier moving forward.’’ Supporting the partnership Armed Forces Families and veterans attended the announcement on Monday. Also in attendance were Mark Wagstaff SO2 MC, Lt CDR Lee Paddock SO Transition MOD HQ Northwest and Dave Curry WO1 RSM from 75 Engineers.
Colonel Phil Harrison, Commander Headquarters North West said “I am delighted the Ministry of Defence have been able to support the Cheshire Armed Forces Hub through the Covenant Fund. The Covenant Fund enables key projects to support and integrate our serving personnel, veterans and families including the delivery of improved local services. This project has already made a difference to members of the Armed Forces community and I am sure it will continue to make a real impact in driving forward the delivery and coordination of activity and services. I wish the project and the dedicated team behind it, great success”
Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “I am delighted that the Halton has been able to lend its support to the successful bid. We look forward to working with the Hub to explore further opportunities where we can work together to support veterans in our community and build on the existing support that we have in place through the Cheshire Armed Forces Covenant. The service is offered alongside NAAFI Break drop in’s in Ellesmere Port and Halton. .