Editor’s Blog

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How The Budget Boost Will Help Veterans

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has outlined how the extra money announced in the budget will help veterans. Much of the focus is on the mental health needs of former service personnel, with an extra £10 million being spent. The MOD’s been under pressure to do more, after a spate of suicides among veterans. The package of measures includes a new outreach service by the Veterans’ Gateway helpline and support for a new initiative with service charity SSAFA. 16,000 Calls Under the trial, the Gateway will now proactively call veterans to check in with them to see how they are and to tell them where they can get support, particularly for mental health needs. Since being set up last year, the Veterans’ Gateway has already received over 16,000 calls, signposting ex-forces personnel to the wide range of support available, including the medical care in the NHS. Support Group Money is also going to SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) to promote a new support group for bereaved families. This provides specialist help and advice to families who have lost a loved one to suicide, including through the Joint Casualty and Compassion Centre, which provides practical advice to families who are experiencing bereavement. Increase Awareness There will also be an increased commitment to studying the causes of death – including suicide – amongst service personnel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. This follows similar studies for veterans of the Falklands and Gulf conflicts. The MOD is also looking at ways to increase the awareness of veterans’ issues among GPs and the worlds of business, employment, finance and leisure. One Too Many Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “As we mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, it’s absolutely vital that we remain resolute in our support for those who have served our country so well. “We must never forget the sacrifices they have made. “So I am determined that the Ministry of Defence does all that we can to ensure those who struggle after serving their country are properly supported. “One death through mental health issues is one too many.”  

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Galanos House Rides Out

100 years ago, 11-11-1918, the First World War ended, and a new world began. The example and experience of those who lived through it shaped the world we live in today. In 2018 The Royal British Legion is leading the nation in saying Thank You to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world. The Royal British Legion Care Home, Galanos House, community; including veterans, residents, staff, relatives and supporters have come up with a unique way to say “Thank You”. Unique At the end of October, Friday 26th – Sunday 28th, they will be aiming to complete a distance of 270 miles; equivalent to riding from Southam to the Armistice Glade, Compeigne, France, where the Armistice was signed nearly 100 years ago. Using state-of-the art static recumbent bikes, (Donated by RBL St James’s Branch), Galanos House will be a hive of pedal power to cover the distance. “The Galanos House Armistice Ride” will raise funds for the care home’s Amenities Fund, which provides the residents with opportunities (trips, entertainment, personal care support) to further enhance their lives at this multi-award winning RBL Care Home. For further details on how you can support/sponsor or take part in this exciting event, please email  newseditor@rbl-stjames.org.uk or contact Galanos House directly on 01926 812185  Event Information page  

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