High praise for Rossendale Veterans Community Center after Labor visit
An east Lancashire hub for military veterans has been hailed as ‘a model for other parts of the country’ by Labour’s shadow defense secretary.
John Healey has spoken highly of the Haslingden Veterans Community Center after visiting it last week. It is home to the Veterans in Communities charity which supports veterans staff in East Lancashire.
The center organizes activities for veterans, including arts and crafts groups, a choir and walks. Mr Healey toured the Bury Road center on Thursday with Rossendale Council Leader Cllr Alyson Barnes, meeting staff, touring the center and talking to veterans.
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According to census data, Rossendale has a higher proportion of working-age veterans than the average for England and Wales, with 2.3% (1,015 people) of the borough’s population being from former servicemen of working age.
Mr Healey said: “Labour is deeply proud of our armed forces and veterans for their service in defending and protecting the country. Most leave the forces highly skilled and well-prepared for a successful civilian life, but many are also deeply affected by their military service and find it difficult to cope.
“We need to do more to make sure there is support available for those who need help. It was a real privilege and an inspiration to visit the veterans in the communities. It is an exceptional support service for veterans and a model for other parts of the country. British veterans are being left behind by this government, and the government’s veterans strategy is an action plan with too little action that will make a difference in the lives of veterans.
Veterans In Communities chief executive Amanda Walton said: ‘It is important that parliament and local councilors understand the need for services such as ours and see first hand what it looks like at ground level for a veteran fighter in need.”