Rossendale Free Press

£46k defence cash secures future for VIC

- Freepressn­ @RossFreePr­ess

THE future of Veterans in Communitie­s (VIC) has been secured thanks to a Ministry of Defence Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust grant of £46,725.

Valley-based VIC was one of just 13 organisati­ons country-wide to be awarded a grant under the ‘Sustaining Support programme’ core track Round 2.

This latest grant, in addition to the charity being awarded a further two years of funding from the East Lancashire Clinical Commission­ing Group in April, ensures outreach across its areas of East Lancashire, Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale is secure.

Chief executive Amanda Walton said: “This grant will help to fund core staff within our organisati­on so that they can continue delivering the service to former armed forces personnel who need it.

“The funding will also allow VIC to provide greater support to our volunteers, who will be upskilled which will make the organisati­on more sustainabl­e beyond the life of the grant.

“VIC will be offering volunteers the chance to undertake training so they can help with benefits and housing, learn more about mental health and training first aid. They will be able to undertake suicide awareness training as well as specialise­d training to aid the individual’s own progressio­n.”

She added: “This grant will be used to empower the volunteers who have come through VIC as part of a peer support model, and this in turn will help the core staff to continue with the level of service they already deliver.”

Throughout the pandemic, VIC staff never stopped working, provided care calls throughout and no one was furloughed.

Amanda said: “I am so proud of the way everyone has dealt with what has been a really difficult time. We have now restarted all of our activities and in fact have extended our provision to include Blackburn, and opened up a new coffee morning in the Ribble Valley.

“We are going from strength to strength and, with the additional new funding and security that it brings, we are hoping to set up new projects in 2022 in accordance with what our members are telling us they want and would like to see.”

 ?? ?? ●The Accrington VIC Shop and (inset) chief executive Amanda Walton
●The Accrington VIC Shop and (inset) chief executive Amanda Walton

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