Help for Sunderland’s ex-forces community

Graham Hall, centre, Chair of Sunderland Armed Forces Network, with their new website and left to right; Gary Cameron, secretary of Sunderland AFN, Maj. John Inglis Jones and Lt. Col. Ian Banks.
Graham Hall, centre, Chair of Sunderland Armed Forces Network, with their new website and left to right; Gary Cameron, secretary of Sunderland AFN, Maj. John Inglis Jones and Lt. Col. Ian Banks.
0
Have your say

A SUPPORT group which aims to boost care for struggling former service personnel has launched a new campaign to highlight its work.

Sunderland Armed Forces Network (SAFN) aims to bring together the community and support organisations set up across the city in recent years.

Now the group, which was launched last year, has organised a summer campaign to raise awareness of the plight of many ex-members of the Army, RAF and Royal Navy as well as the help which is available.

Former serviceman Graham Hall, who is spearheading the initiative to connect the “disjointed” support system, said: “We hope to get the message across that there is help and support available.”

As well as advertisements and promotional leaflets, the drive will see SAFN volunteers attend Seaburn’s Armed Forces Weekend, which starts on June 29, and the Sunderland Airshow, which starts on July 20.

“The tents will be manned by various people from various agencies who are part of the network,” said Mr Hall. “They will be available to provide information about the group as well as give people help and advice on any issues they have.

“If they are unable to provide details there and then, then they will take that person’s contact details and pass them on to the appropriate agency.”

Mr Hall said he wants former service personnel to attend network meetings, to provide suggestions on how to improve their situation.

Today, the group, along with Sunderland City Council, will also sign an Armed Forces Covenant expressing its commitment to providing help for veterans and their families.

“The group is going really well,” said Mr Hall. “We’ve had a good response from a good range of groups.”

SAFN recently launched a website as a “one-stop portal” for military matters in the city, highlighting local and national issues and providing a support service for those looking to start life as a civilian.

For more information, visit www.safn.org.uk.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho