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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Carlisle one of first areas to sign up to war veterans campaign

Carlisle is taking a lead in dealing with war veterans by becoming one of the first areas to sign up to a campaign.

Joe Hendry photo
Joe Hendry

City council leader Joe Hendry has lent his support to a new initiative to help former members of the armed forces by pledging to be the Veterans’ Champion for the authority.

Champions are there to stand up for the rights of those who have left the armed forces in helping them adjust to life on civvy street.

The nationwide campaign, which aims to have a dedicated person at each council to help service leavers resettle into civilian life, was launched by Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy.

Dr Hendry said: “We have a proud military heritage in Carlisle and many local people have and continue to give great service to our nation in our armed forces.

“When their years of service are over, we have a duty to look after service men and women returning to our city.

“This role of Veterans Champion is so important that it’s only proper, that as leader of the council, I take on this role to champion their future welfare.

“I’ll be ensuring that as a local authority we do everything we can to help our veterans resettle into the Carlisle area.”

Mr Murphy said Britain was “brilliant” at turning civilians into soldiers, but not good enough at turning soldiers back into civilians.

“Transition from military to civilian life can be difficult and distressing. A one-stop-shop for access to services and entitlements would make an enormous difference,” he said. “A Veterans Champion would help those who have performed heroics overseas.”

The border area has been among those which have led the way in trying to secure rights for those leaving the forces.

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