AMPUTEE soldiers from Sunderland will be able to get greater support as a Wearside network seeks to become a charity.
The city’s Armed Forces Network is already supporting almost 200 veterans who struggle to integrate into mainstream life after returning from war.
This care also includes helping two Sunderland soldiers who are recovering after losing the use of limbs following attacks in Afghanistan.
One has faced having a limb amputated, while the other has suffered such severe damage that he has lost the use of his arm.
Sunderland Armed Forces Network is working with the men who are in Personal Recovery Units run by Help the Heroes.
Now the organisation, which has been running for three years, has applied to become a registered charity.
Chairman Graham Hall explained: “We set up to help and support the armed forces community, and our aim was to ensure that the organisations charged with the care and support of that community actually were helping those in need.
“We have been involved with 194 veterans or close members of their families and it is obvious, despite much good work being carried out, that many in need are not getting the help at an early stage which often means the problems escalate out of control.
“By becoming a charity we will be using 100 per cent of all donations for those who need help.
“We do not need flash offices, cars or large expense accounts – what we need are people who are willing to go that extra mile to try to help our ex-service personnel.”
Sunderland currently have in excess of 26,000 veterans in the city of all ages which is the highest ratio of any city in the country.
SAFN is currently working to open a Sunderland home, run by Norcare Veterans Centres, which would offer six residential places to ex-service personnel.