Nottinghamshire County Council reaffirms its strategy to support military veterans and those still serving

Nottinghamshire County Council’s armed forces representatives have highlighted community support available to all local veterans and military families, with an armed forces support strategy.

The support is available to all veterans and military families across Nottinghamshire, including those who served in Afghanistan.

Councillor Keith Girling, Armed Forces Champion and veteran of 18 years in the Grenadier Guards, said: “I am keen that we should never forget the sacrifice and commitment shown by the men and women who served the nation during all conflicts.

“To that end we are committed to achieving a shared vision of support and mutual benefit. We have a long history of doing this in Nottinghamshire, and it remains our duty to do so.

Nottinghamshire councillors have highlighted their support for military veterans and those still serving. Getty Images

“Our strategy sets clear goals for the collaborative delivery of services that draws upon the wealth of experience of the public sector, armed forces charitable sector, businesses and other organisations which offer vital skills and knowledge.

“In accordance with the Armed Forces Covenant, the council will ensure that veterans and those serving will never be disadvantaged as a result of their service”, Cllr Girling added.

The strategy sets out clearer principles and aims which help ensure that the armed forces community experiences a consistent approach. Increased collaboration between organisations will draw upon the expertise of all bodies to design and deliver consistent services throughout Nottinghamshire.

These include continued collaboration between organisations offering health and well-being provision such as the NHS, Age UK, and the Royal British Legion, as well as more localised projects such as breakfast clubs.

This will be consolidated by the more effective collection and utilisation of data from the council’s Customer Service Centre to improve veterans’ employment prospects. Other organisations will also collect data to help those in the criminal justice system and address homelessness.

Councillor Johno Lee, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, is aware that the armed forces and veteran community is hurting at the moment due to ongoing events. He said: “Many, many veterans are suffering from mental health issues and community services provided by private firms and charities, in collaboration with Nottinghamshire County Council, will be there to help.

“There will be mixed views amongst our veteran community about the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice, with others losing limbs and/or suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“Having served there myself I understand the depth of feeling and that is why I am keen to show that Nottinghamshire County Council is here for you.”

In turn, the strategy’s measures will increase awareness of the unique obligations facing the British Armed Forces Community, and how these can affect their ability to access key public services.

Veterans and those currently serving ultimately deserve the highest recognition. The strategy also, therefore, aims to raise awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant throughout Nottinghamshire, assisting universities, schools, history and historical societies, and museums in highlighting the role of local men and women and their antecedents in service.