Lancashire Armed Forces Covenant Hub opens to community
A former soldier with 27-years’ service is leading the drive in supporting the armed forces community in Lancashire.
Ian Barber, who has also worked for Royal British Legion and the Royal Air Forces Association, has been appointed as the Project Lead for the new Lancashire Armed Forces Covenant Hub for the next 18 months.
The Hub, which is based within the College for Military Veterans and Emergency Services (CMVES) at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), has been established to work closely with local councils across the county to support people serving in the armed forces, veterans and their families. This may include finding employment, housing and schools as well as health and wellbeing issues such as finding a forces friendly social group to help those feeling isolated.
The targeted support service has been made possible thanks to a partnership bid between UCLan, Lancashire County Council, Army Headquarters North West and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, which secured £152,000 from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.
Ian, who spent his final 12 years in the British Army working in soldier welfare support, said: “It’s an exciting new role that will allow me to take the lead in really making a difference to the lives of those serving in the military and to veterans who are looking to settle down into civilian life. The Lancashire Armed Forces Covenant Hub will work closely with a variety of charities and support organisations to create a central point for people to access the services they need with ease.”
It’s an exciting new role that will allow me to take the lead in really making a difference to the lives of those serving in the military and to veterans who are looking to settle down into civilian life.
County Councillor Alf Clempson, the county council's Champion for Veterans and the Armed Forces, and a former Scots Guardsman with twenty four years' service, said: "This is an important role which will lead and co-ordinate the work of the hub to directly benefit our armed forces community.
"We look forward to working with Ian to bring together all of the good work done by so many organisations in Lancashire, so that veterans and serving personnel and their families will always know where to go to get the right help, advice and support.
"I believe passionately that we have a duty to all who have served to ensure their transition to civilian life is as seamless as possible. For most the skills and experience they have gained during military service makes them extremely attractive to future employers."
Anyone interested in getting involved with the Lancashire Armed Forces Covenant Hub can contact Ian Barber via phone on 01772 892300 or visit the Hub on Mondays at CMVES, Kirkham Building, Bhailok Street, Preston, PR1 7AD.