Veterans from the famous Gurkha regiment and their families will be officially welcomed to Nottinghamshire with a civic reception on Saturday.
Nottinghamshire County Council has been working with around 50 Gurkha families who have settled in the county to integrate into their local communities.
The Council’s Community and Voluntary Sector Team has used a £5,000 Government grant to provide a range of help, including:
English language and basic computer courses at Central College, Nottingham
Establishing a Nepalese and Gurkha Veterans Group, linked to the established Nottingham Asian Arts Council and other organisations
Providing a directory where Gurkhas can access local support services
Many Gurkha veterans and working age family members have already found local jobs, including a significant number of ex-servicemen who are using their skills in the security industry.
Gurkhas have been part of the British Army for almost 200 years and were originally recruited for their “faithful and fearless” qualities. They have served in all major conflicts since, including World War I, World War 2, the Falklands conflict and most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Five years ago, campaigners led by actress Joanna Lumley successfully battled for members of the Gurkha regiment to be granted the right to live in the UK.
Coun John Allin, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The huge public support behind Joanna Lumley’s campaign showed just how grateful the British public is to the Gurkhas for their loyal, dedicated and fearless service to our armed forces.
“We are privileged that so many families have chosen to settle in Nottinghamshire and enrich our local communities. I am delighted to hear that they are settling in well and that so many have quickly found employment.
“I very much look forward to officially welcoming the Gurkha veterans and their families to our county at the Civic Reception.”
Around 60 Gurkha veterans and family members will be present at the Civic Reception, with many guests expected to wear service tie and medals or traditional costume. The event will include renditions of two traditional Gurkha songs.