Posted 29 Jun 2018
Shelter signs up to put forces first
Shelter has become one of the latest charities to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant with a special ceremony in Liverpool.
The Covenant is the country’s national promise that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.
The promise now covers all of Shelter’s staff and services that work to help people avoid homelessness by keeping or finding a home. Alongside its Merseyside advice hub, Shelter has 11 other city centre hubs, where last year it provided face-to-face advice to almost 40,000 people.
The covenant was signed at a ceremony at George Masters Army Reserve Centre in Bootle ahead of Armed Forces Day this Saturday, as members of the 156 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps gathered with Shelter staff and supporters to make the pledge.
Alison Mohammed, Shelter's Director of Services, said: “Every day at Shelter we hear from veterans who are struggling with bad housing and homelessness, as back in the civilian world they don't have the same network of support they had while serving in the forces.
“By signing this Covenant, we’re promising to deliver truly accessible services and to work with members of the Armed Forces to develop and improve the help we provide.”
Jo Cutler, Shelter's Merseyside Manager, said: “As part of this commitment, we recently launched the Merseyside Aged Veterans Partnership. This amazing service specifically targets older veterans aged 70 and above who face real difficulties with housing but also with isolation. We provide a range of fun activities like tea clubs, cinema nights, and trips to football matches, and give them the networks of social support they really need."
Members of the Liverpool Veterans headquarters (HQ) also attended the ceremony to show their support.
A Ministry of Defence (MOD) spokesperson said: “By signing the Armed Forces Covenant, Shelter joins over 2,500 business and organisations across the country who are supporting veteran and reserve personnel.
“Having served with courage and professionalism it is right that we recognise their contribution and offer support where necessary. The MOD has a long history of working closely with charitable partners and we welcome this announcement today by Shelter which will offer housing guidance for those who require it. The vast majority of those leaving the forces transition well, but when our troops and veterans need help we are committed to providing the care they deserve.”
Shelter urges any member of the Armed Forces Community or their families who need housing support or advice to visit www.shelter.org.uk/gethelp.
Andy Cooke (Veterans HQ), John O’Neil (Veterans HQ), Captain Geoff Nuzum RLC (156 Regiment), Jo Cutler (Shelter Merseyside Hub Manager), Alison Mohammed (Shelter Director of Services), Captain AJ Sandle RLC (156 Regiment), Kevin Archer (Veterans HQ), and Rachel Watson (Shelter) celebrate the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant in Bootle this week.
Notes to editor
Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through our advice, support and legal services. We campaign to make sure that, one day, no one will have to turn to us for help. For free and independent advice from Shelter, visit: https://england.shelter.org.uk/gethelp.
Merseyside Aged Veterans Partnership
The Merseyside Aged Veterans Partnership helps 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. Aged Veterans Fund is funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds.
Armed Forces Covenant
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly. We’re working with businesses, local authorities, charities and community organisations to support the forces through services, policy and projects.