The VIC, who support those who have served in the Armed Forces and Emergency services in East Lancashire and areas of Greater Manchester, ensure that those that have retired from service remain engaged with former colleagues, have access to support and utilises their skills and knowledge.
The visit allowed Commissioner Snowden to see how the charity are engaging veterans in activities ranging from painting, to woodwork and walking, and discuss how further ties can be made with Lancashire Constabulary to increase the number of retired police officers who make use of the services offered at the VIC.
Following the visit, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden said:
“Organisations such as Veterans in Communities are lifelines for veterans and former emergency service workers, and the community that the team have managed to build in Haslingden is admirable.
“I’d really like to see more police retirees take up the services they offer, even if it is just to visit the building to socialise and meet like minded people.
“In my role as Police and Crime Commissioner, I will continue to work with projects that both fight crime and enrich the lives of Lancashire residents and I am excited to see how the charity helps more veterans across Lancashire as it expands.”
Major Bob Smethurst, Trustee of the VIC charity said:
“As an Army veteran of over 40 years service I have experienced the exceedingly close links that exist between the military and blue light services.
“Indeed, many ex servicemen subsequently sign on for service as blue light responders. My own service concluded in Army HQ North West where I was involved with engagement and I soon realised just how important this partnership is.
“It was a pleasure to show Andrew around our Veterans’ Centre and his generosity with his time, interest and advice was greatly appreciated by everyone he met. We would like to extend an invite to any blue light veteran friends to join us.”