Posted 02 Feb 2018
New Shelter service to help senior veterans on Merseyside
Housing charity Shelter this week launched the first ever service to support Aged Veterans struggling with housing problems in the Liverpool City Region.
The new Merseyside Aged Veterans Partnership will help senior veterans from the armed forces by providing housing, health and well-being advice. It also aims to reduce feelings of isolation through ongoing support from a 'buddy system'.
The service is expected to help more than 760 men and women in the next three years alone, and is available for anyone born before 1 January 1950 who has served in our armed forces – including national service. Latest figures show that 62,000 veterans live on Merseyside, and that almost half of these (49%) are likely to be over the age of 75.
The partnership is led by Shelter and includes a host of local organisations, including Veterans HQ, Sefton Veterans Project, Everton in the Community, St Helen’s Veterans Project, FACT, Tranmere Football Club and Liverpool City Council.
Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region Steve Rotherham attended the launch at the Port of Liverpool Building on 30 January, joined by Shelter’s CEO, Polly Neate. Partner organisations and veteran organisations from across the city also attended.
Shelter CEO Polly Neate said: 'There are thousands of older ex-service men and women in Merseyside – they often live alone, are widowed and their support networks are depleted making them feel very isolated.
'Whether they are homeless, renting or have a home of their own, it's vital that older veterans get the advice and support they need. That's why Shelter and its partners across Merseyside are launching this innovative scheme to provide tailored housing, health and wellbeing support.'
She urged anyone needing support or advice to contact Shelter Merseyside on 0344 515 1900.
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: 'In my manifesto last May, I made a very specific commitment to a "fairer deal for current and former military personnel". I made that commitment because of the raw deal that too many members of our armed forces community face.
'Ours was the first Combined Authority in the country to sign the Armed Forces covenant, and we participate in regular co-ordinating meetings, held by Armed Forces champions and officers from the city region’s six local authorities.
'The Aged Veterans’ Partnership is a fantastic initiative – which will act as a lifeline for many of those who have given so much for our country. It has my full support.'
Former serviceman Alan Kelly, 82, from Anfield, said: 'I know from experience that ex-service staff can be very proud people, who often find it hard to ask for help. But a sudden change in life circumstances, such as a partner passing away, can really turn someone’s life upside down. By speaking in a language we know, and with our background in mind, I think this new partnership will make a real difference to the quality of life for older soldiers like me.'
Notes to editors
(1) Latest estimates for the number of Aged Veterans on Merseyside come from the UK government’s annual population survey of UK armed forces veterans residing in Great Britain 2016: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/annual-population-survey-uk-armed-forces-veterans-residing-in-great-britain-2016, which found 62,000 veterans living on Merseyside. The analysis showed that 49% of UK veterans are aged 75 or above.
Population estimates taken from NHS Wirral Public Health Information Team report of 2012, from ONS and TRBL data and using additional census information, estimated the number of Aged Veterans on Merseyside at more than half the total number of veterans, resulting in a Shelter estimate of 30,000+ Aged Veterans on Merseyside.
Merseyside Aged Veterans Partnership
Shelter Merseyside is currently leading the Merseyside Aged Veterans Partnership, which is part of The Royal British Legion’s Healthy Lives portfolio, using the Aged Veterans Fund, funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds. Shelter’s partners comprise: Liverpool Veterans HQ, Sefton Veterans Project, Everton in the Community, St Helen’s Veterans Project, FACT, Tranmere Football Club and Liverpool City Council. Shelter is helping older veterans who are struggling with any kind of housing issue. The service is available for anyone born on or before 1st January 1950 who has served in the armed forces (including national service) and can be accessed by contacting Jo Cutler, Shelter Merseyside hub manager.
Phone: 0344 515 1900 (Shelter Merseyside)
Following an international investigation by financial regulators in 2012, it was revealed that several banks in the US and the EU were manipulating Libor, a benchmark interest rate for inter-bank loans, for profit. UK regulators fined the banks £688 million. It was announced that all proceeds would “go to the benefit of the public”. HM Treasury announced that: 'the proceeds from LIBOR fines would be used to support Armed Forces and Emergency Services charities and other related good causes that represent those that demonstrate the very best of values.' With £773 million committed since 2012, the LIBOR grant scheme is now closed.
Armed Services Covenant
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly. The government is working with businesses, local authorities, charities and community organisations to support the forces through services, policy and projects.