Our Armed Forces personnel play a crucial role in protecting our way of life and keeping our nation safe. They make a unique contribution to national life every single day, yet some are facing real struggles enduring homelessness or facing the prospect of losing their home.
That’s why Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen is using £90,000 of funding to help tackle housing issues for service personnel, veterans and their families across the Tees Valley.
The money will be used to provide specialist help and support to any member of the Armed Forces community in the region who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Through the funding The Legion will also provide bi-weekly drop in sessions in accessible locations to improve access to support and advice.
Training will also be provided to other organisations the Legion works with to improve awareness of the specific issues facing serving and ex members of the Armed Forces.
The money is part of a £1m fund from MHCLG which will be shared among ten combined authorities and the Greater London Authority who will be able to use the funding to provide veterans with the appropriate support they need as they navigate civilian life.
To mark the funding agreement, Mayor Houchen visited Poppy Appeal collectors and volunteers in the Castlegate Shopping Centre in Stockton to hear more about the vital work the Poppy Appeal does to help Service personnel, veterans and their families.
Mayor Houchen said: “This is the time of year when we all remember the sacrifices every member of our Armed Forces made to protect our country and allow us to enjoy the freedoms we do today – we will never forget them.
“Many of our veterans have dedicated their lives to our country, playing a vital role in keeping our country safe. That is why we should give them all the support they need, especially those who are now in difficult circumstances and need a roof over their head.
“I am really pleased we can use this money and support The Royal British Legion with all their projects in the Tees Valley and give help to the real heroes of our region.
“This weekend, I am sure we will see people of all ages attend fantastic displays of remembrance across the Tees Valley, pausing and reflecting on those soldiers who died fighting for our freedom.”
2019 marks 100 years since the first two-minute silence was observed on Armistice Day, on 11th November 1919.
This year, The Royal British Legion is asking the nation to pause, including muting your phone, closing your laptop, and switching off the television, for just two minutes and pay respect to our Armed Forces community, past and present.
Nicola Meredith, Northern Area Manager for The Royal British Legion, said: “The Legion provides life-changing care and support to members of the Armed Forces community who are in need.
“We rely on donations to deliver our vital work so it is fantastic to receive this funding which will help us make a real difference to the lives of Service personnel, veterans and their families in the Tees Valley who are experiencing or facing homelessness.
“Life for those in the Armed Forces comes with a whole host of challenges and difficulties, this money will enable us to provide dedicated, specialist advice and support to help combat and prevent homelessness.”