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Veterans to be surveyed about community support in West Yorkshire

“Veterans are not asking for a hand-out. They’re looking for a hand up.”

Veterans, reservists and serving armed forces personnel are to be asked to give their thoughts on how they are supported in their local communities.

Kirklees Council is one of five local authorities across West Yorkshire taking part in a survey aimed at identifying how they can help their local armed forces communities move forward.

All have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise from the nation that no one who has served in the armed forces, or their families, should face disadvantage when accessing services.

The online survey is designed to find out which services are being accessed from councils, their partners and charities, the experiences of veterans using such services and their awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant.

Clr Masood Ahmed, Kirklees’ Armed Forces Champion, encouraged people to take part.

He said: “Through the work of the Kirklees Armed Forces Covenant Board and our partners we are committed to do all we can to provide the best support and services possible for current and former armed forces personnel and their families.

“We need to know if what we are doing is working, whether there are areas to improve and what more we can do.”

The survey was also backed by Conservative councillor and Mayor of Mirfield Martyn Bolt, who said broad communication was the key to securing a detailed response.

“Liaising with and looking after our veterans is key.

“We have a very engaged veterans community in Mirfield. We have to understand how best we can serve our veterans and military personnel.

“Veterans are not asking for a hand-out. They’re looking for a hand up.”

Last year Clr Bolt initiated a move to guarantee military veterans an interview for any local authority job in Kirklees – as long as they meet essential criteria.

There was cross-party backing for his motion to assist service personnel, which got unanimous support in a vote in Huddersfield Town Hall.

It reflected growing concern that servicemen and women often struggle to cope with civilian life on leaving the military.

The survey is being carried out by Gemma Paine, the West Yorkshire Armed Forces Covenant Project Officer who is hosted by Bradford Council.

It is being sent out on behalf of all five West Yorkshire Councils (Kirklees, Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale and Wakefield) who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant.

Feedback will be used to help shape services in the future and to provide data about the Armed Forces Community and their possible future support needs.

Any responses used in reports will be anonymised. 

 

The survey is available online but for anyone who does not have access to the internet Gemma Paine will be in the lending room at Huddersfield Library from 11am to 1pm on Wednesday, February 12 and at Batley Library and Art Gallery from 11am to 1pm on Monday February 17.

The survey can be accessed online at https://surveys.bradford.gov.uk/snapwebhost/s.asp?k=156992442031 and needs to be completed by February 29.

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