Help for Wirral ex-soliders

Veterans Contact Centre looks to help people when they leave the forces

After suffering the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following a tour of Bosnia with the army, one ex-solider is promising to help others in his position.

From a bespoke office provided by Wirral Council at Cheshire Lines, Birkenhead, the new unit, staffed by the veterans themselves, will act as a ‘one stop shop’ for help and support for service personnel and their families, avoiding calls to multiple organisations and departments at what can be a stressful time.

The Wirral Veterans’ Contact Centre will work in partnership with the many other organisations and charities, who offer support to our Armed Forces and Merchant Seaman communities.

The idea behind the new facility is that veterans - who have first-hand experience of the unique issues and problems facing other veterans and service personnel and their families – are best placed to offer appropriate and advice and assistance.

The idea for the unit arose out of a meeting between Cllr Green and Simon, who retired from the Army in December 2004 after tours of Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, and was later found to be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

He said: "Initially, I was passed from pillar to post and it was a real struggle to get the help I needed. There is a great deal of support in Wirral for the Armed Forces, but this does not always translate into real, practical help when people need it most.

"From personal experience, I know the kind of problems that people face and I wish a unit like this had existed back then. Everyone involved in this project is determined to make it a success and do all we can to support our Armed Forces,’ he added.

Cllr Green said: "Talking to Simon it was obvious that there was a real need for co-ordinated support that avoided people having to ferret out that help themselves, sometimes when they were under real stress.

"No one deserves our support more than the men and women who have served their country in the Armed Forces so very early on we decided to set aside £20,000 to help establish this unit, provide office accommodation and start up costs for volunteers who can then signpost members of the armed forces, their families and local veterans to a range of support services."