Disabled soldier from Great Sankey says more should be done to help veterans

Warrington Guardian: Colin Eaves Colin Eaves

A FORMER soldier left disabled and bankrupt following a motorbike accident after leaving the Army is calling for more to be done to support veterans.

Colin Eaves, aged 49, of Patton Drive, Great Sankey, served for nine years as a drummer with 1st battalion Scots Guards, including tours to Northern Ireland and Hong Kong.

The father-of-three, who is backing a campaign by the Royal British Legion to offer support in Warrington, said: “It should be up senior officials in the Army and the Navy to make people aware there are services available that can help you, but they don’t.

“Often the only thing members of the Armed Forces know about the RBL is you have to turn up on Remembrance Sunday.

“They don’t know about all of the other kinds of support they offer with finances and housing, even finding you money if your roof is leaking.

“There are a lot of veterans walking the streets homeless with nowhere to go when there is help available and that is wrong.”

After leaving the Army Colin carried on with his long term passion for motorbike racing.

A crash during a race in April 2011 caused severe injuries meant he lost his job as a warehouse manager.

Broken bones in his pelvis, ribs, collar bones, shoulder blade, and spinal damage, mean he is still unable to walk properly.

He says major surgery on his spine might be needed.

The accident meant Colin, wife Sharon and their three children were in turmoil, unable to pay the mortgage.

They lost their home in 2012, and the family faced being homeless until Colin contacted the RBL.

It helped pay rent for a month on their current home in Great Sankey and covered costs of the bankruptcy.

The RBL has now opened a new drop-in centre in Liverpool that will serve veterans from Warrington.

Colin, who now volunteers for the Poppy Appeal as a way to say thanks, believes it will help get help to people who need it.

The granddad added: “The Legion was a massive help to get me back on my feet again.

“I found out they could help you in a million ways.

“There needs to be more awareness about what the Legion does and the new centre will help that.

“Anyone who needs help can go there and get it.”

The Royal British Legion has opened a new information centre on Williamson Street in Liverpool city centre, the first of 16 to be opened nationwide.

It will support current members of the Armed Forces and veterans from Warrington, with anyone welcome to drop-in for advice on services.

A new free phone helpline number - 0808 802 8080 - has also been launched.

Gillian McKinnon, the Legion’s manager for Cheshire and Merseyside, said: ”Being able to pick up a phone to a trained adviser, looking online for information or coming along to an office like this where you can talk face to face represents major progress.

“My team is totally committed to providing the best possible service for the service community, past and present, in Cheshire and Merseyside.

“From now on it will be easier than ever before for people to find the help and support they need.”

Comments (6)

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3:59pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Brick Bazooka says...

I'll probably get a mixed reaction of comments but....

I applaud your actions serving the country however, why should the Army support you for a non work related accident?

Quote article: "A crash during a race in April 2011 caused severe injuries meant he lost his job as a warehouse manager."

Should the warehouse be doing more to support you even though 'again' it was not work related?
I'll probably get a mixed reaction of comments but.... I applaud your actions serving the country however, why should the Army support you for a non work related accident? Quote article: "A crash during a race in April 2011 caused severe injuries meant he lost his job as a warehouse manager." Should the warehouse be doing more to support you even though 'again' it was not work related? Brick Bazooka
  • Score: 11

7:04pm Fri 17 Jan 14

old-codger says...

You are to be congratulated for your army service and also for pointing out the good work done by the RBL. As a veteran myself I am aware of the RBL and donate on a regular basis, The shortage of social housing only adds to the homeless problem in this country.
I,d take insurance out to cover me in the event of an accident, Payment protection insurance may have prevented the loss of your home, Its better to be safe than sorry these days, I hope you get back on your feet soon and things start to pick up for you and your family. Good luck.
You are to be congratulated for your army service and also for pointing out the good work done by the RBL. As a veteran myself I am aware of the RBL and donate on a regular basis, The shortage of social housing only adds to the homeless problem in this country. I,d take insurance out to cover me in the event of an accident, Payment protection insurance may have prevented the loss of your home, Its better to be safe than sorry these days, I hope you get back on your feet soon and things start to pick up for you and your family. Good luck. old-codger
  • Score: 0

9:25pm Sat 18 Jan 14

local man says...

PPI would have probably excluded any accident you had when racing a motorbike.

I cant find the title anywhere in the text. It looks to me more like Vet says legion does a great job and more people need to know about it, and thanks for helping me. But different from the title.
PPI would have probably excluded any accident you had when racing a motorbike. I cant find the title anywhere in the text. It looks to me more like Vet says legion does a great job and more people need to know about it, and thanks for helping me. But different from the title. local man
  • Score: 1

12:47am Sun 19 Jan 14

EnduranceUK says...

Absolute 110 percent respect for serving in the Armed Forces!
However you'd left and were racing motorbikes - something anybody can do, and anybody can get seriously injured doing.
Can you explain what sort of support you think you should get? You werent injured serving in the Forces or protecting the country.
Sad but tough.
Absolute 110 percent respect for serving in the Armed Forces! However you'd left and were racing motorbikes - something anybody can do, and anybody can get seriously injured doing. Can you explain what sort of support you think you should get? You werent injured serving in the Forces or protecting the country. Sad but tough. EnduranceUK
  • Score: 2

11:52am Mon 20 Jan 14

brickyben says...

I personally know this person and some injuries where actually present prior to the motorbike crash from where he had served within the forces , Colin was simply thanking the RBL for the assistance that they provided without the judgemental aspect of things. The motorbike accident was pure and simply an accident, just like you or i could have walking down a road today or tomorrow and nor is it fair that you judge colin on his activities after leaving the forces, the British Legion are amazing and as colin states do not get enough recognition for the wonderful work that they carry out, and Colin simply has tried to repay to the legion what they have helped him with, not to be judged over having a motorbike crash which i hasten to add the guardian have misprinted and it was not a race that he crashed in, it was in fact a perfectly safe track experience day, and insurances may be taken out but do not cover for accidents such as colins, and i know this from experience. Thankyou to those whom support the RBL and may your support continue
I personally know this person and some injuries where actually present prior to the motorbike crash from where he had served within the forces , Colin was simply thanking the RBL for the assistance that they provided without the judgemental aspect of things. The motorbike accident was pure and simply an accident, just like you or i could have walking down a road today or tomorrow and nor is it fair that you judge colin on his activities after leaving the forces, the British Legion are amazing and as colin states do not get enough recognition for the wonderful work that they carry out, and Colin simply has tried to repay to the legion what they have helped him with, not to be judged over having a motorbike crash which i hasten to add the guardian have misprinted and it was not a race that he crashed in, it was in fact a perfectly safe track experience day, and insurances may be taken out but do not cover for accidents such as colins, and i know this from experience. Thankyou to those whom support the RBL and may your support continue brickyben
  • Score: 0

4:02pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Coldstreamer says...

As a former serviceman I agree TRBL are not truly recognised for all the "unseen" support work they should be applauded for, Colin is aware that all service personnel commit one full days pay per annum whilst in service to mainstream veteran charities. This still is the case and regardless of one days service or 40 years service these "Mainstream Charities" have always been there for all veterans throughout the UK & abroad regardless of length of service or how long they have been veterans. If it hadn't been for colin's monetary commitment during his nine years service, these mainstream charities wouldn't of exist in the first instance. I do however have concerns over the multitude of Veteran Charities which have propagated throughout the UK, mostly attempting to replicate what is already established and already done of which most of them are unable to deliver effective veteran support either. Well done TRBL & well done Colin for utilizing something you paid into many years ago ......... BRB
As a former serviceman I agree TRBL are not truly recognised for all the "unseen" support work they should be applauded for, Colin is aware that all service personnel commit one full days pay per annum whilst in service to mainstream veteran charities. This still is the case and regardless of one days service or 40 years service these "Mainstream Charities" have always been there for all veterans throughout the UK & abroad regardless of length of service or how long they have been veterans. If it hadn't been for colin's monetary commitment during his nine years service, these mainstream charities wouldn't of exist in the first instance. I do however have concerns over the multitude of Veteran Charities which have propagated throughout the UK, mostly attempting to replicate what is already established and already done of which most of them are unable to deliver effective veteran support either. Well done TRBL & well done Colin for utilizing something you paid into many years ago ......... BRB Coldstreamer
  • Score: 2

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