The Royal British Legion now has a weekly base at Number One Riverside in Rochdale.
Every Thursday they have a staffed desk on the ground floor of the multi-use public building in the town centre, alongside the library and council customer service advisors, providing help and advice to anyone from the Armed Forces Community.
From 10am to 1pm each Thursday their Advice and Information Officers provide face to face advice and support to serving personnel, veterans and their families. The legion can also help them access other welfare services, financial support, property support, education, retraining, bereavement counselling and membership enquiries. As well as their eye catching presence on the ground floor, they have a private meeting room when required – and no appointments are necessary.
Royal British Legion Area Manager Vaughan Kent-Payne says the move helps to bring the legions services even closer to those who need them:
“Our staff will be available for face to face meetings to discuss any issues, so we’re encouraging the local armed forces community call in for advice on a range of subjects including housing support, welfare, debt management and much more. I’m pleased the council have supported us by letting us use the fantastic facilities here, it’s a good example of joint working for the benefit of local people.”
Councillor Alan McCarthy, Lead Member for the Armed Forces at Rochdale Borough Council also welcomed the move:
“Previously you would have had to travel to Manchester to get this kind of advice face to face, so it’s great that they are here in Rochdale every week. Across the road from the Metrolink stop and the new Interchange, it’s also easy to get to.”
The legion helps the whole Armed Forces community through welfare, companionship and representation as well as being the nation’s custodian of Remembrance.
The council signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2012, aimed at encouraging local communities to support services that promote and encourage activities that help integrate armed forces personnel back into civilian life. They now have strong links with the Royal British Legion who also sit on the covenant board.
Current or ex Armed Forces personnel can register for help or get more information by visiting www.rochdale.gov.uk/armedforces If they encounter difficulties when accessing services from the council or its partners email firstname.lastname@example.org call the council on 01706 926989.
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