Project launched to help age­ing forces veter­ans

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS - STU­ART GREER

APROJECT has been launched to sup­port armed forces veter­ans.

Age UK Cheshire East, which is based in Mac­cles­field, wants to in­crease the amount of sup­port avail­able for el­derly men and women who have given so much of their time in the de­fence of their coun­try.

The three-year project is funded by the Aged Veter­ans Fund.

The team, led by Mike Askew, will work with other veter­ans’ char­i­ties across Cheshire East to iden­tify and work with the es­ti­mated 5,000 veter­ans who may be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dif­fi­cul­ties which pre­vent them from lead­ing more ac­tive and ful­fill­ing lives.

Mike said: “This is a re­ally ex­cit­ing new chal­lenge, work­ing along­side older veter­ans to im­prove their well­be­ing and help them over­come some of the unique chal­lenges veter­ans can face.

“We es­ti­mate there to be ap­prox­i­mately 5,000 aged veter­ans across the bor­ough so this project is much needed at a time when many pub­lic ser­vices are be­ing with­drawn.”

Mike and the team have now be­gun the work of un­der­stand­ing the ser­vices that are al­ready out there sup­port­ing veter­ans. Re­fer­rals will com­mence in the au­tumn.

Mike added: “This is an im­por­tant project, but it is also vi­tally im­por­tant that we do not du­pli­cate the great work that other char­i­ties, such as The Royal Bri­tish Le­gion, are al­ready do­ing.

“The next few months will give me time to build re­la­tion­ships with part­ners to make sure that what we at Age UK Cheshire East are of­fer­ing is tar­geted at the right peo­ple and best com­ple­ments the sup­port that is al­ready out there.”

Mean­while, a group of veter­ans have launched a club to com­bat lone­li­ness.

The Veter­ans Break­fast Club is an op­por­tu­nity for veter­ans from all Forces in­clud­ing the Army, Navy and RAF, to get to­gether over break­fast to so­cialise, share sto­ries and make friends.

It met for the sec­ond time at Pack Horse Bowl­ing and So­cial Club on Abbey Road on July 16. They meet ev­ery third Sat- ur­day of the month from 9am to 12pm.

For more de­tails visit the Mac­cles­field Veter­ans Break­fast Club Facebook page or call 01625 614706.

The group was set up af­ter more than 300 peo­ple at­tended the fu­neral of Royal Marine vet­eran Harry Wheeler, 96, to pay their re­spects af­ter it emerged that he had no known fam­ily and it was feared no-one would at­tend.

Mike Askew is lead­ing a new Age UK Cheshire East project to sup­port armed forces veter­ans

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