Fire service hub launched to support veterans

A NEW hub that supports veterans working for the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service was launched earlier this month in a virtual ceremony.

Guests included Bracknell MP – and former soldier – James Sunderland.

Launched after receiving a Gold Award from the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme, the Armed Forces Veterans’ Hub affirms the Fire Authority’s ongoing commitment to the Armed Forces community.

Held on Saturday, November 7, to coincide with Remembrance weekend, the hub is a space for veterans to come together, listen to high-profile speakers and meet organisations who can provide them with advice or support them.

As well as Mr Sunderland, speakers at the event included Wokingham Without councillor Angus Ross, who served in the RAF, as well as the chairman of the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, Cllr Colin Dudley.

Mr Sunderland said: “This is an incredibly important initiative that is close to my heart after serving in the Armed Forces for 26 years.

“Joining forces with the Fire Authority to launch the Armed Forces Veterans’ Hub in Royal Berkshire is very exciting as I hope it can offer a place for our county’s veterans to come together and share experiences, as well as offer an environment for sharing crucial services that help our veterans and their families.”

And Cllr Ross, who is the brigade’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “We hope that this launch will pave the way for many more events like this to take place over the coming months.

“The intention is to offer an environment, hosted by the Service, where veterans can come together and share their experiences.

“We need to appreciate that ‘veterans’ are not only the older members of our community, but all who have served in HM Forces.”

He added: “The receipt of the Armed Forces Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award highlights just one step in our ongoing commitment to supporting our armed forces community.”

Future events will be hosted at fire stations across the county, as soon as coronavirus guidelines allow.

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