Veterans group in Mansfield gets boost from armed forces champion

A Mansfield-based group, set up to support traumatised veterans of the armed forces, has received another boost.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 4:30 pm
British troops on duty in Iraq. Many find it difficult when they return to civilian life.

Former mental-health nurse Eileen Massey, 64, created Veterans Unite to make the transition from the battlefield back to civilian life more comfortable for men and women who have served their country in war-ravaged countries.

Many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with flashbacks and extreme anxiety turning them to drink and drugs. Some are left homeless.

Now Eileen has received the backing of Coun Keith Girling, of Newark, who is the official armed forces champion for Nottinghamshire County Council.

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Coun Keith Girling, the armed forces champion for Nottinghamshire County Council, who has backed Veterans Unite.

"Coun Girling contacted me and put me in touch with a charity that has awarded me a bit of money,” said a delighted Eileen, who lives in Mansfield.

"It should help me find an empty shop in the town that I can hire and use as the base for Veterans Unite. It would serve as a drop-in centre, meeting place and cafe.”

At present, Eileen is only able to run weekly support sessions at the Mansfield headquarters of the mental-health charity, Mind, on St John Street every Tuesday morning.

"I help through my training as a mental-health nurse,” she said. “But if necessary, I can refer the veterans on for specialised support.

“Sadly, it is not going very well at the moment because many of the veterans are at work at that time.”

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More help for Veterans Unite has been offered by the Ye Olde Ramme Inne pub on Church Street in Mansfield, where Eileen is hoping to hold a Christmas fair towards the end of the year.

In the meantime, her fundraising continues at the Midland Hotel in the town on Saturday, October 2 with another bric-a-brac sale from 10 am.

Stalls will feature all kind of items, from clothes and handbags to books and ornaments, that Eileen sells at affordable prices to raise money for her group.

There will also be competitions for children to guess how many sweets are in the jar and to guess the name of a giant Teddy.

It is her fourth fundraiser of the year, after previous successful ones at Vicar Water Country Park in Clipstone.

Any businesses, organisations or entrepreneurs who own empty premises that might be ideal for Veterans Unite are asked to call Eileen on 07484 867675.

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