Serving and former armed forces personnel across the borough will be able to access a new help service thanks to funding secured with the support of Cheshire East Council.
The Ministry of Defence has contributed £20,000 to the Cheshire Armed Forces Hub, which will help past and present soldiers, sailors and airmen who need help to access essential services, as well as emotional and family support, where required.
Run from Warrington, the hub will work in partnership with a newly-formed charity Shoulder to Soldier and will help serving and ex-servicemen with a range of problems, such as accessing welfare and benefits, tackling debt, housing difficulties and finding work.
Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for finance and communities, said: “We are pleased to have played a part in securing this funding from the Ministry of Defence.
“We believe it is vital to support our armed forces personnel, some of whom find it extremely difficult to make the transition from military life to ‘civvy street’. Also, some of them return from war zones deeply affected by their experiences and need additional emotional support.”
All Cheshire local authorities, including Halton, backed the bid initiated by the Warrington Armed Forces Hub, which last year helped 81 new clients to access support.
Cheshire East has around 1,500 former servicemen and women claiming war pensions, but many more serving or ex-military personnel would qualify to access the service.
Steve Patterson, a trustee of the support network, said: “We are delighted that the Ministry of Defence had the confidence in our proposal. As an ex-forces person myself, I know how important it is to receive the correct advice and support.
“This is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference across the whole of Cheshire.”
To find out more about the hub, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or telephone 01925 246955.