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Posted on Mar 18 2022 by Fiona Bailey

Veterans, service families, reservists and service personnel across Northamptonshire are to be given “much needed support”.

West and North Northants Council has recognised that some people from the Armed Forces community might need some advice or help, so it has launched a new initiative.

The Armed Forces Community Hubs have been set up so anyone who has any questions can pop along for a chat and a cup of tea.

The Veterans Complex Treatment Service, part of the Community Partnerships Team, is supporting the new Hub by hosting all the Northampton events which are taking place over the next few months.  

In addition to Northampton, Hub meetings are also being held at the Kettering Corn Market, the Corby West Glebe Park and Pavilion and the Daventry Volunteer Centre. The first Hub took place in January in Daventry.

Speaking before they started, Councillor David Smith, West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Armed Forces Covenant Member Champion and Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement, said: “The Hubs will provide a warm and welcoming place where members of the Armed Forces Community - serving personnel, reservists, veterans, and their families can go to for support, advice, and comradeship.

“In a nutshell, we want the Hubs to be a place where someone can drop in for a brew and a chat and to seek advice if needed.”

Gordon Thomas, who is the Armed Forces Community Hub Facilitator, said: “These Hubs have only been going for a few weeks and have very quickly become a lifeline to some of our attendees. Many people don’t realise how hard the transition from the military to civvy street can be which is why it’s so important we provide some much-needed support to those who feel they need it.”

“We’re extremely grateful to St Andrew’s for providing us with a safe space so we can hold our Northampton Hub. We’d like to take this opportunity to say everyone is welcome. Please do come along as we’re here to help.”

Catherine Vichere, Clinical Director of the Community Partnerships Service which has just been rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said: “We do a huge amount of work with veterans and ex-service people and we know how being in the Armed Forces for a long period of time can impact some people mentally.

“We firmly believe that by providing people with extra support before they leave, could help prevent them from becoming mentally unwell at some point in the future. Very often, part of the problem can be, people feel isolated and alone living back in the community, but these Hubs provide them with a place to come and talk through their issues and seek support from the professionals and other like-minded people.” 

A range of organisations will be at the Hubs such as Veterans Community Network (VCN) Department of work and pensions (DWP), Veterans UK, Royal British Legion (RBL), to name a few, although these organisations could change due to their commitments.

 For further information about the Armed Forces Community Hubs, click here.