Every second Saturday of the month, the doors open on New Street House at 1pm until 3pm for local forces veterans.
Andover & Villages were invited along to the second one ever to be run in this 6 month pilot scheme and, on arrival, was warmly welcomed by Iris Andersen, who is a Test Valley Borough Councillor, and Doug Gould, the Armed Forces Liason Officer for Hampshire County Council.
Doug came up with the idea of a drop in service for forces veterans after seeing a scheme based in Portsmouth, which started their own initiative and is now running a successful and valuable resource for those who have served from one day to their whole career life in the forces.
Also in attendance was Natalie, from the Royal British Legion, who is an Advice and Information Officer. She is able to give advice to eligible persons, which include those currently in service, ex services and those who are or were dependant on someone who is either current or ex services. Natalie can give advice from food vouchers to housing along with a deposit bond scheme and even the ability to provide mobility scooters.
There were sandwiches, fruit and hot and cold drinks on offer in a lovely bright airy room that is as much about getting out and meeting like-minded people as being able to tap into the resources there arranged by Doug.
I would implore any Service Veterans to seek out this resource as this is a pilot and, if not used, will disappear. You don’t have to come along if you have need of help, but it’s so important to keep the resource attended. You never know when you or a friend or a family member may need it.
You can drop into the sessions in Andover, at the following address, on the second Saturday of the month from 1-3pm at:
New Street House
130 New Street
If you would like any further information on this scheme, please contact Douglas Gould on, 07793759024 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org