Charity summit to provide better support for Nottinghamshire’s 6,000 veterans

Poppies in a cornfield by Linacre Reservoir
Poppies in a cornfield by Linacre Reservoir

Nottinghamshire County Council has hosted a summit of local charities and organisations with the aim of providing better support to armed forces veterans.

The event, called Civilian Life, is the first of its kind in the East Midlands - which took place today, Thursday, November 12 - and orms part of the County Council’s commitment to improve services to the armed services community through its Community Covenant, signed in 2013.

Councillor Alan Rhodes, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “It is entirely appropriate that we should host this event on 12 November – 24 hours after falling silent to remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, we focus on the brave men and women that remain.

“Civilian Life is a first for Nottinghamshire and is part of our very public commitment, which brings together forces charities and armed forces infrastructure groups, as well as Age UK Notts, Remploy and County Council services.

“By working together, we aim to provide a more joined-up approach for veterans, so vital in order to make the transition and integration back into their home community a success.”

The event held at County Hall aims to provide better co-ordination and increased awareness of the many specialist services available to the 6,000 veterans living in Nottinghamshire today.

Services being showcased at the event included employment and skills guidance, resettlement and transition, help for families and children of veterans, mental health awareness and practical support.

A directory of information on all the services available in Nottinghamshire and where it can be accessed will be produced, so that councillors, volunteers and other people whose jobs regularly bring them into contact with veterans can signpost them to the help they need.

Rick Harrington of Forces in the Community added: “This event has raised the awareness of the local support available to veterans and their families in Nottinghamshire. Signposting veterans to organisations who provide focused support delivers positive results in a shorter time frame.”

Nottinghamshire County Council has further shown its commitment to building on its good relationships with the armed forces community by appointing it’s first-ever Armed Forces Champion.

Councillor Ian Campbell took up the position in the summer. As well as being a County Councillor, representing Retford, Leading Aircraftman Campbell, is also an RAF reservist, serving with 504 (County of Nottingham) Squadron at RAF Wittering.

Councillor Campbell said: “I am incredibly honoured to be selected as the County Council’s first Armed Forces Champion and it is a role I will put my heart and soul into.

“I am a passionate supporter of the armed forces and I hope to use my experience from roles in both public service and the military to be a strong voice for the serving and veteran community in Nottinghamshire.”