MP for Wrexham helps launch first veterans-only charity

The female veterans were welcomed to Parliament by Wrexham MP Sarah Atherton, who is the only serving female MP with regular military training, as part of the launch of Salute Her UK.

Salute Her is the only three-service charity in the UK that focuses solely on women, provides a gender-specific support service and is part of the largest charity, Forward Assist, which itself helps older people combatants across the UK through research, education, advocacy and support projects.

MP Sarah Atherton, who is a member of the Defense Select Committee, conducted a survey of the experiences of servicewomen and veterans titled “Protecting Those Who Protect Us: Women in the Armed Forces from Recruitment to Civilian Life” .

The survey heard from 4,200 women, some veterans, others still in service. This represented 10% of all women serving in the British Armed Forces today. Many of the women present at the Salute Her UK launch provided anonymous evidence of Sarah’s investigation.

The scope of the investigation focused on a wide range of issues ranging from kits not designed for the female form, such as helmets falling off when women were in firing position during operations, and body armor designed for men, serious cases of sexual assault and rape.

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MP Sarah Atherton said: ‘Over the past two years I have worked closely with Paula Edwards, who runs Salute Her UK and provided valuable evidence to the Defense Select Committee during my investigation. So it was an absolute pleasure to welcome female veterans to Parliament. at the launch of Salute Her UK.

“Salute Her UK provides vital needs-based support and service and a platform for women struggling with the lasting impact that military sexual trauma has on a female veteran. As the only charity for female veterans in the UK, the work of Salute Her and Paula has been a key contributor to my report.

“I have seen first hand the work that Salute Her UK is doing when I visited last summer and if anyone is in any doubt that there is a need for a specific service for female veterans they should visit Salute Her , talk to Paula or read my report.”

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Paula Edwards, Chief Administrator of the newly formed Salute UK, said: “It was great to see our vision for the launch of Salute Her UK come to life in Parliament, thanks to the support of Sarah Atherton.

“The event was about women, those who have served and those who still serve and it was a special moment for all some of the women to come together, with Sarah, after more than 18 months of hard work to contribute to her report.”

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