Joanna Lumley OBE accepts role as SSAFA Ambassador

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has awarded Joanna Lumley the role of Honorary Ambassador, for her work with its Gurkha beneficiaries.

Speaking about the appointment of the actress and charity campaigner, Lieutenant-General Sir Andrew Gregory, chief executive SSAFA said:

“Joanna’s commitment and unswerving support for the Gurkha community is an inspiration to us all and something that we felt should be formally recognised. Joanna has done so much to support our Berkshire branch and in particular its literacy programme for Gurkha wives and widows; we are delighted to announce her as a SSAFA Ambassador.”

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Magazine editor from Surrey completes 24-hour cycle on Brands Hatch Circuit for military charity

A magazine editor from Surrey has completed Revolve 24, the Brands Hatch Cycle Challenge, for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Chris Bennett, 54 and from Bookham, admits the terrain of the course took him by surprise. He explains: “The race itself was much hillier than I thought, which just made the entire event tougher than I expected.

“The track isn’t lit up at all so you had to depend on your bike lights, which meant that in the small hours of the morning, just when the tiredness was kicking in, you had to really, really concentrate!”

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National sight loss charity targets eye health professionals with new video featuring prize-winning beneficiary

Blind Veterans UK has launched a new video aimed at ophthalmologists, sight loss advisors and other eye health professionals, to increase the referral of blind veterans to the charity as part of National Eye Health Week (18 – 24 September).

The short video, filmed at St Helen’s Hospital, features Maria Pikulski, an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) based at the hospital, who is also a beneficiary of the charity.

Maria was recently recognised by the sight loss sector when she won the 2017 Eyecan Awards run by Galloways. The awards were created to celebrate what can be achieved by people of all ages when they are given the right opportunities, encouragement and support.

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WRAC Association becomes Information Partner within the Veterans’ Gateway

The WRAC Association is proud to have become an Information Partner with the Veterans’ Gateway. With many ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) and WRAC (Womens’ Royal Army Corp) veterans, inc TA & TAVR veterans, not being aware of the Association or it’s Benevolent Fund it’s important that the Association has a visible presence wherever veterans may go to seek out assistance when they are in need of help. For our members, this underlines our mission to support all those who served with the ATS & the WRAC through not only our Benevolence Fund but also through the valuable work of the Association including the bi-annual publication of Lioness.

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Opening of the RBLI Invictus and Victory Houses

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon gave a speech and officially opened Victory and Invictus Games Houses built by the Royal British Legion Industries.

Excerpt from Sir Michael Fallon’s speech:

It’s a huge pleasure to be here today to open these magnificent new apartments and meet their future occupants who I look forward to chatting to in a few minute’s time.

I remember standing across the road from here three years ago not long after I’d been appointed Defence Secretary. Back then there was nothing but a barren patch of land and set of ambitious plans.

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Updated – Armed forces service complaints process

Making a service complaint

Serving or former members of the UK armed forces can make a complaint if they feel they have been wronged on a matter that arises when they are subject to service law. This can include complaints of bullying, harassment, discrimination and biased, improper or dishonest behaviour.

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Magazine editor from Surrey to compete in 24-hour Brands Hatch Cycle Challenge for military charity

A magazine editor from Surrey is currently training to compete in Revolve 24, the Brands Hatch Cycle Challenge, for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Chris Bennett, 54 and from Bookham, has been a supporter of Blind Veterans UK for a number of years now, through the partnership that his magazine, Optician, has with the charity. He explains: “Optician works with eye care professionals on the high street and in hospitals.

“We’ve been with Blind Veterans UK for a while now. The work they do in providing practical assistance to those in need and looking to adjust to sight loss is essential and it’s a cause we’re proud to support.”

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Churchill’s grandson to give lecture on the life of Sir Winston

7.30pm, 12 October, Churchill War Rooms

The life of former Prime Minister and war time leader, Sir Winston Churchill, is the subject of a fascinating lecture being hosted by Stoll, the leading provider of supported housing for Veterans. Sir Winston’s grandson, The Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames MP, will give the lecture at the Churchill War Rooms in London on 12 October at 7.30pm.

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Veterans’ Gateway issues need-to-know advice for Pension Awareness Day

Veterans’ Gateway, a new service for veterans, is ready to assist veterans with pension problems this Pension Awareness Day, with some key pieces of advice on Armed Forces pensions.

Providing a first point of contact for veterans who need support, Veterans’ Gateway connects users with the right organisation that can help on a range of issues including housing, finance, mental health and employment.

Since the launch of the service, pensions advice is one of the most common subjects that individuals using Veterans’ Gateway have sought help and guidance on.

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Blind veteran from Churchill receives prestigious medal for helping liberate France from the Nazis

A Second World War blind veteran from Churchill has been formally presented with the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur for his part in the liberation of France.

Peter Johnson, 91 and from Churchill, was presented with the prestigious honour by Josette Lebrat, the Honorary French Consul of Bristol, on behalf of French president Emmanuel Macron. The special ceremony took place at a reunion lunch in Bristol organised by Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, from whom Peter receives support.

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Utterly stunning @RoyalAirForce…

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