This month, Remembrance brings into focus the many who gave up their lives to save our freedoms. It was an honour to attend the Tamworth Remembrance event and lay a wreath on behalf of the people of Tamworth. We will remember them.
One often forgotten area of the military is the many thousands of veterans all across the country, they too worked hard, some fought wars, some undertook peacekeeping missions, others have helped out at times of crisis such as fire, flood and more recently Covid19.
The Office for Veterans Affairs and the Office for National Statistics wants to learn more about the veteran population and their immediate families. They are running a survey, it is anonymised but the feedback will be used to help create future policy and plans.
So if you know a veteran, live with a veteran or are a family member of a veteran, please consider participating in the survey so we can further help improve the lives of the ex-armed forces members who have given so much to us.
You can find the link here - or by searching for 'Veterans Survey' on the gov.uk website.
On veterans issues more broadly, I have once again been pressing the Minister on Veterans ID cards for those who have left after 2018. I understand that there are still some issues around validation for older members of the armed forces but I will keep chipping away on this issue.
I have also been questioning the progress on homeless veterans, I am pleased to say the Government figures are showing a decline in homeless veterans, with very few applicants now requiring a home. We made veterans a priority for housing, so it is good to see this policy is working to plan. I am aware there are still some veterans out there who are homeless and would encourage all to come forward to their local authority and register for support.
Finally, Tamworth has a very active Royal British Legion group. The group best known for organising Remembrance events does so much more, from fundraising and providing practical support to veterans to social events (including camping for those still enjoying the great outdoors!) the group provides education for young people, so they can learn why the armed forces are so important and they lend a hand to community projects across Tamworth and beyond.
Most importantly the Tamworth RBL provides comradeship and representation, they're a tight knit but growing group and would love to hear from more local veterans and their families. You can find out more about them online here