Connecting Veterans: Age UK project helping Lancashire’s 50,000 veterans overcome physical, social, and mental issues
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Such statistics are harrowing, especially considering that veterans are some of the most deserving people of our support. In response, Age UK Lancashire has launched a new project named Connecting Veterans to help the estimated 50,000 veterans across the county overcome issues such as physical or social isolation or loneliness they may be experiencing.
Funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, Age UK Lancashire’s Connecting Veterans initiative will connect ex-servicepeople with a wide variety of organisations across the county which can then use their wealth of knowledge, expertise, and invaluable opportunities to make a real difference.
“We know there is a huge need for this project in the county, with over 50,000 veterans living in Lancashire,” says Teri Stephenson, Chief Executive Officer at Age UK Lancashire. “I’m delighted that, using our expertise and our network of partners, we can target and support some of the most vulnerable veterans and help connect them with their community.
“And help them to live their best later life, too,” Teri adds, with the charity’s outreach workers also aiming to help reduce barriers to veterans overcoming isolation such as transport logistics or confidence issues.
Age UK Lancashire is the county’s premier charity when it comes to working with and for older people, believing that later life should be valued and fulfilling. The charity is an invaluable source of advice, information, companionship, and support, working diligently to promote independence, enhance people’s health and well-being, and enable older people to access the information they need to make informed decisions about their lives.
No strangers to working with isolated veterans, Age UK Lancashire have previously delivered a number of similar successful projects such as Veterans Support in the Community in 2021, which enabled 70 veterans to connect with their local communities whilst instilling a new-found element of independence into their lives.
One particular beneficiary was a gentleman named Bryan, who - thanks to the project - was united with his lost medal whilst also being introduced to a number of other local veterans with whom he could share his experiences. This time around, Age UK Lancashire’s sterling outreach efforts are being led by Jaqui Collins, who has 33 years’ military experience under her belt as well as vast experience of working with veterans.
“This project is so important to bring veterans from Lancashire together and open their eyes to opportunities offered to veterans,” comments outreach worker Jaqui Collins. “Many don’t know that, to qualify as a veteran, you only have to give one day's service. As a veteran, I’m very passionate to support others as I know so many are isolated and lonely.
“This is what this project aims to tackle.”
If you are a veteran or know a veteran, then please reach out to Age UK Lancashire by calling 0300 303 1234 or emailing [email protected]