Charities win support for rural services

RURAL charities are among those to share £22.7m in government funding to support older veterans.

The money will help organisations provide access to health care and carers, support with using the internet, and offering general advice.

Defence Minister Mark Lancaster said the Aged Veterans Fund was a way of us thanking our older veterans and ensuring they are cared for in later life.

Beneficiaries include the Cornwall Rural Community Charity and Rural Action Yorkshire – both of which work to support veterans living in the countryside.

Veterans outside those counties will receive help too.

Age UK received £4.4 million for its Joining Forces scheme, which gives up to 12 weeks of tailored support for older veterans across the country.

This providing information and advice, practical support at home, access to social events and digital technology, and opportunities to become more active.

Steve Hampson, of Age UK said: "Joining Forces allows us to build on the work we already do across the country with older veterans and to reach out to those who may need more support.

"The grant means we can develop and test our services, and learn more about how best to support older veterans to get more out of later life.

"Our work has at its core what older people want to achieve for themselves.

Meanwhile, £4.8m was awarded to the Legion Healthy Living Portfolio, led by the Royal British Legion, to promote healthy living.

Steve Baynes, head of grants and social policy at the Royal British Legion, said the money would help to achieve lasting results for older veterans.

"This grant will help the Legion continue its work with a network of charities, supporting the Armed Forces community through thick and thin," he said.

Veterans to benefit would be from a range of communities.

They would include those who were at risk of becoming socially isolated, struggling with their physical or mental health, with hearing loss or in residential care.

The fund is designed to support non-core health, wellbeing, and social care needs for older veterans born before 1 January 1950 – including surviving Second World War veterans

It also includes veterans who undertook National Service, and other voluntary enlisted veterans who may need some focused support in relation to their health and social care needs.

This final round of awards comes after the Aged Veterans Fund initially granted £6.6m to eight organisations in 2016.


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