A one-stop shop to support armed forces veterans and their families in civilian life has opened in Liverpool.
The shop, in Breck Road, Anfield, was officially opened by the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson.
A military pipe band will be present at the opening ceremony which will be attended by veterans’ organisations, military personnel, representatives from the NHS, housing providers and from Liverpool and Everton FC’s veteran programmes.
The one-stop shop will be staffed by trained buddies all of whom are either ex military personal or related to veterans. They will provide expert advice and information on several issues affecting former servicemen and women including housing, health, and employment.
“There are 32,000 armed service veterans in Liverpool and with the coming defence cuts there will be many more servicemen and women returning to the city “said Bob Blanchard, of Breckfield and Everton Neighbourhood council and co-chair of Liverpool City Council’s Veterans Partnership Board.
“Many of them will be looking for help with housing, finding schools for their children and looking for advice on their CVs. They may also have health issues which need addressing.
“The one-stop shop will enable them and their families to get a wide variety of help, advice and information under one roof. It will be an invaluable help for those people who have served their country.”
The opening of the new facility follows the signing by the city of Liverpool of a community covenant which commits it to working closely with the military in support of serving personnel, ex-service and their families.
Mayor Anderson said: “Liverpool has a great tradition of supporting our armed forces and we are now taking that much further by making it easier for veterans to get the help they may need in settling into civilian life. It is also important that we also care for their families and the on-stop shop will do that.
“This is a practical way of showing the value we place on those people who have risked their lives for their country.”
Councillor Peter Mitchell, the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, added; “We are fully committed to making sure that support is readily accessible to veterans and their families and we providing help on their doorstep.”