NORTH YORKSHIRE is set to receive £1 million in funding for older veterans over the age of 65.
The funding is by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds and has been awarded to a portfolio of organisations led by Community First Yorkshire (formerly Rural Action Yorkshire). It is part of the Aged Veterans Fund operating across the United Kingdom.
The successful award means a 3-year service will be established County-wide to provide additional health, wellbeing and social care support to ex-forces personnel born before 1950 and also to those who completed National Service. This will mean greater help for surviving WW2 veterans, but will also encompass those who have served in conflicts since then such as the Falklands, Northern Ireland and the Gulf War.
A wide range of support will be made available in North Yorkshire and York, delivered by a consortium of charities and organisations dedicated to improving the lives of older veterans. This includes Age UK, Richmondshire District Council, Citizens Advice, Saint Michael’s Hospice, Yorkshire Housing and Carers Resource.
Leah Swain, Chief Executive of Community First Yorkshire, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to work with our partners to raise the profile of older veterans. We will be offering practical help, befriending, and the chance to try new things and volunteer. By building local networks we will support older veterans to identify and achieve their goals, whether that’s making their home warmer, learning to email family abroad, or getting out and about more often.”
Neil Irving, Assistant Director at North Yorkshire County Council which is supporting the work, said: “We have a large ex-forces community in North Yorkshire. Through discussions with former members of the armed forces we identified loneliness, isolation and access to services as some of the key problems that our older veterans face. This funding will enable us to address these issues and more.”
The partnership is currently finalising the services they will offer and the new service will launch in the summer.
Leah said: “The work will be informed on an ongoing basis by the views and feedback of veterans – it is their support service and we very much want them to be able to shape it.”
Aged Veterans Fund
The Aged Veterans Fund has awarded £22.7 million of LIBOR funding to ten charities to improve support and introduce new services for older veterans.
The money will help organisations across the country to continue the invaluable work they do to support older veterans, which includes providing access to health care and carers, support with using the internet, and offering general advice.
The ten charities to receive the awards are Age UK, Poppyscotland, The Royal British Legion, the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association, Cornwall Rural Community Charity, Community First Yorkshire (formerly Rural Action Yorkshire), St Johns and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service, Age Cymru, Seafarers UK, and Hospice UK.
The Aged Veterans Fund which was set up in 2015, had a total of £30 million of LIBOR funds available to support older veterans.
It is designed to support non-core health, wellbeing, and social care needs for older veterans (born before 1 January 1950), including surviving Second World War veterans, those who undertook National Service, and other voluntary enlisted veterans who may need some focused support in relation to their health and social care needs.
This final round of awards comes after the Aged Veterans Fund initially granted £6.6 million to eight organisations in 2016.