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One stop shop for veterans sets up in Warrington town centre
Updated 10:25am Wednesday 9th July 2014 in News
A ONE-STOP shop for veterans, serving soldiers and their families will now be stationed in the town centre.
The Armed Forces Community Support Hub has been unveiled as part of an 18-month pilot project funded by Warrington Borough Council and St Loye’s Foundation.
The centre at The Gateway on Sankey Street will provide information, advice and guidance for serving and former Armed Forces personnel.
St Loye’s Foundation, who specialise in helping veterans transition in to education and employment, as well as other charities and support groups such as The Royal British Legion, and Warrington Veterans and Families Liaison Board will also offer their services from the new hub.
Clr Mike Hannon, deputy leader of the council, said: “Our town has experienced conflict first hand, with the IRA bombing in 1993 which is why this hub means so much to us and we are proud to have this facility in Warrington.”
Former Grenadier Guards sergeant Stephen Harrison, transitions manager for the north west at the St Loye’s Foundation, added: “The hub aims to ensure that people gain access to the most appropriate support for their needs as quickly and easily as possible.”
Veteran Tony Boland, from Orford, is just one of the town’s former servicemen to use the new facilities.
The 56-year-old, who signed up to the armed forces in 1972, will now be working at the hub as a volunteer and has enjoyed meeting fellow servicemen and women and listening to their stories.
Sixteen-year-old Carina Ruth from Cinnamon Brow, will also be volunteering at the centre while she completes her training in preparation to join the Royal Marines.
The former University Academy Warrington pupil, who hopes to play the bugle in the Royal Marine Band Service, plans to follow in the footsteps of some of her family - many who have previously served in the armed forces.
She hopes the volunteering at the centre it will set her in good stead for her chosen career.
The hub will be open every weekday excluding bank holidays from 10am to 4pm.