Kate Reader from Age UK Enfield is leading a new project focusing on helping veterans
Last year I worked on a project that helped to identify local people who had served in the armed forces or in national service.
In six months, I identified and worked with 82 people who had either served or were family members of someone who had served in armed forces.
The aim of the project was to help participants obtain welfare benefits or any financial assistance they might be entitled to and, in some cases, to be awarded a medal for which they didn’t know they were eligible. One person we helped was Bill Plume, aged 94, who served in the army between 1944 and 1947, in Palestine and Germany, and said he was “delighted” to be awarded his medal and retell his stories of active service.
One of the most notable findings from the project was the need and desire of participants to connect with others; this encouraged us to apply for further funding, and we were delighted to be awarded funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund in a new two-year project.
This is a really exciting project to be involved with. Loneliness and social isolation are an issue for many veterans living in Enfield, more so with the pandemic, and this project is a wonderful opportunity to begin to address this issue and offer support.
The project will give veterans and their families the opportunity to meet other people in a friendly, social environment, take part in physical activity if they wish, and link with Age UK Enfield and other local services.
We can support anyone who has completed at least one day of military service, including national service, and are hoping to offer our support to many people over 50 in Enfield borough. Close family members of veterans are also eligible.