TWO of the founders of a project aimed at linking civilian communities and former members of the armed forces met dozens of similar organisations at Downing Street.
Steve Bomford and Rachel Olivia Owens, who run the Company of Makers project from the Cathedral Innovation Centre in St Thomas Street, received an invitation along with more than 100 organisations working with members and ex-members of the military.
Following the visit, Steve said: ‘The invite came out of the blue, it was a complete surprise.
‘It was to recognise groups in the UK that do work with the armed forces community.
‘We are a recycling project which is working with veterans and their families.
‘The prime minister made a speech about the importance of the armed forces covenant, which all local authorities have now signed up to.
‘It was quite an impressive occasion. There were about 150 people there in total.
‘It was very good that we could meet people from all over the country doing things that were of a similar nature.
‘We were talking to people from Liverpool Football Club who told us about initiatives that Portsmouth Football Club have.
‘We were talking to different organisations which work with veterans.’
The project holds free events in Portsmouth and Gosport such as furniture upcycling.
Steve explained: ‘We do workshops of all different types and different lengths.
‘We recently did some shorter workshops with Help for Heroes.
‘The project’s aim is to get a greater understanding between the civilian and military communities in the Portsmouth area.
‘It is to find out more about what the military does and encourages the civilian community to find out more.’
The Company of Makers is a joint project between NeBMedia Ltd and Rood Vintage Bizarre Cic and is funded by the Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund.
The project received funding when it set up last year from a fund administered by Portsmouth City Council.
To find out more about getting involved, visit companyofmakers.org.uk.