Ex-military personnel in Hartlepool, Lancaster, Scarborough and Redcar will now have more support, thanks to £20,000 awarded to a leading veterans charity by the Ministry of Defence’s Covenant Fund. Every year they distribute £10 million to support the armed forces community. Since 2012, FirstLight Trust has founded two community hubs in Redcar and Scarborough. The appointment of a new Northern Regional Coordinator will help them to open even more branches in Hartlepool and Lancaster.
“We started our charity to help disadvantaged, mentally ill or injured veterans locally, in their own community,” explains FirstLight Trust’s Dorinda Wolfe Murray (pictured right). “Many find returning to civilian life a real challenge with some even ending up on the streets. We provide practical support, activities and a place to come for a chat. 76% of veterans who benefit from our projects are from the Army, with 18% from the RAF and 6% from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.”
The Regional Coordinator is based in Redcar and will coordinate and introduce new support and trading services to help improve the lives of veterans. They will also identify veteran ‘hot spots’, in particular those in the more remote areas of North Yorkshire, Redcar and Cleveland. FirstLight Trust’s ethos is to work with existing services such as Local Authority Adult Services, probation and charities to deliver on the ground services. A major part of the job will therefore be to strengthen links and research opportunities.