Housing charity launches new service to help senior veterans on Merseyside

By agency reporter
February 4, 2018

The housing charity Shelter has launched the first-ever service to support aged veterans struggling with housing problems in the Liverpool City Region. 

The new Merseyside Aged Veterans Partnership will help senior veterans from the armed forces by providing housing, health and well-being advice. It also aims to reduce feelings of isolation through ongoing support from a 'buddy system'. 

The service is expected to help more than 760 men and women in the next three years alone, and is available for anyone born before 1 January 1950 who has served in the armed forces, including national service. Latest figures show that 62,000 veterans live on Merseyside, and that almost half of these (49 per cent) are likely to be over the age of 75. 

The partnership is led by Shelter and includes many local organisations, including Veterans HQ, Sefton Veterans Project, Everton in the Community, St Helen’s Veterans Project, FACT, Tranmere Football Club and Liverpool City Council. 

Metro?Mayor?of?Liverpool City Region Steve Rotherham attended the launch at the Port of Liverpool Building on 30 January 2018, joined by Shelter’s CEO Polly Neate. Partner organisations and veteran organisations from across the city also attended.

Polly Neate said: “There are thousands of older ex-service men and women in Merseyside – they often live alone, are widowed and their support networks are depleted, making them feel very isolated. 

"Whether they are homeless, renting or have a home of their own, it's vital that older veterans get the advice and support they need. That's why Shelter and its partners across Merseyside are launching this innovative scheme to provide tailored housing, health and wellbeing support."   She urged anyone needing support or advice to contact Shelter Merseyside on 0344 515 1900.  

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “In my manifesto last May, I made a very specific commitment to a ‘fairer deal for current and former military personnel’. I made that commitment because of the raw deal that too many members of our armed forces community face. 

"Ours was the first Combined Authority in the country to sign the Armed Forces covenant, and we participate in regular co-ordinating meetings, held by Armed Forces champions and officers from the city region’s six local authorities. 

"The Aged Veterans’ Partnership is a fantastic initiative – which will act as a lifeline for many of those who have given so much for our country. It has my full support.” 

Former serviceman Alan Kelly, 82, from Anfield, said: “I know from experience that ex-service staff can be very proud people, who often find it hard to ask for help. But a sudden change in life circumstances, such as a partner passing away, can really turn someone’s life upside down. By speaking in a language we know, and with our background in mind, I think this new partnership will make a real difference to the quality of life for older soldiers like me.”

* Shelter http://england.shelter.org.uk/

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