Ghostly figures, representing fallen soldiers whose names are found on North East war memorials, have started appearing across the region….

Popping up in workplaces, places of worship and at events, the figures are part of a national campaign by the charity Remembered, in the run up to Armistice Day. And County Durham-based charity Finchale Group is behind the appearances, which are designed to bring members of the armed forces and civilians closer together.

Finchale Group is using the “There But Not There” campaign – funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust – to raise awareness of the skills and knowledge that armed forces people can add to the community and honour the fallen.

Lt Col (Retired) Mel Pears MBE, chief executive of Finchale Group, explained: “Finchale Group has supported the armed forces community for a long time, so we know the wealth of skills these people have and the huge value they bring to public life.

“All too often the wider community is unaware of this, and of the work done to support the armed forces. The silhouettes not only serve to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service, but also those members and veterans of the armed forces who continue to play a vital role in the community today.”

The silhouettes have already appeared at some of Finchale Group’s partner organisations across the North East – including Johnnie Johnson retirement homes, the North East Veterans Network and the Brownies and Cadets.

Altogether 10 silhouettes will tour nine partner organisations – all of whom work with Finchale Group to provide a diverse range of services to veterans and members of the armed forces. A range of events in the lead up to Armistice Day including coffee mornings, talks and drop-in events will help Finchale Group to reach the wider community.

Mel added: “Finchale Group works to support people who need help to manage money problems, confidence and mental health issues, address drug and alcohol misuse and resolve issues with housing. Our team is made up of armed forces people and we help many veterans with the challenges they face in civilian life.”